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News from the Great White North

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(Updared 9:32 pm, September 9, 2006)

This post is for anyone who is tired of hearing about The Path to 9/11, The Senate Intelligience Committee report that concludes Bush lied and other U.S. political news.

How about some refreshing commentary about some cool and bracing Canadian news?

Vatican Scold Sticks his Nose Where It Don’t Belong
The CBC reports that Pope Bennedict is upset with Canada for allowing gay marriage (also known to some as equal marriage) and abortion. He says the policies “resulted from Catholic politicians ignoring the values of their religion”.

Or maybe they were doing what they thought was best for all Canadians. Canada does not have the constitutional separation of church and state that the U.S. does. In fact,as an example, Catholic and other confessional schools are publicly funded insome provinces. But religion and electoral politics are kept very far from each other by public sentiment. It is bad form to ask about a candidate’s religion there. Here, candidates have to wear their religion (figuratively) on their chests.

Sadly, the Catholic Church in Canada has recently started to interfere coercively in public affairs. Catholic Members of Parliament have been denied communion because of their votes in the House of Commons.

Hey, Popy! Render unto Caesar, eh?

Yukon Premier Acts Like a Real Dick – Nixon That Is
Canada has three territories, governments that aren’t quite provinces. Just east of Alaska is the Yukon Territory, right where Jack London left it. The Yukon Premier, Dennis Fentie, has called an election for October 10.

At the dissolution of the legislature, three parties held seats there: the governing Yukon Party (the local branch of the right wing Conservatives) the oficial opposition centrist Liberals and the centre left New Democrats (NDP). Two seats were held by independents.

Yukon districts range in size from around 150 voters to close to a thousand. Candidates have a chance during a campaign to talk to every voter over and over and over. I know. I have been a campaign manager in Yukon elections. It is so very different from American elections because there is no tv advertising, and no polling because a large chunk of the electorate have neither phones nor internet access.

Elections are like family feuds, because everybody knows everybody, even though everybody is really spread out geographically.

But get this; the NDP Leader is under treatment for leukemia. No breaks for sickies, I guess.

Many people speculated that Fentie would not call the election until NDP Leader Todd Hardy had completed treatment for his recent diagnosis of leukemia. But the premier was unapologetic.

“There’s absolutely no guarantees that if we waited until Nov. 4, Mr. Hardy would be able to conduct a campaign,” Fentie told a news conference after his speech.

Harsh, dude. Very harsh.

Toronto Film Festival Excitment Reaches Fever Pitch
The Toronto Film Festival
opened on September 7. Highlights include:

  • Bill Clinton will get a 60th birthday party with entertainment by Billy Crystal and Tim McGraw.
  • The Dixie Chicks, are expected in town soon to help launch the documentary devoted to them called Shut Up and Sing.
  • Michael Moore will speak as part of the festival. And will be sneak-peeking parts of his newest doc, Sicko — a reported takedown of the U.S. health care system.
  • A new movie called Bobby about Robert F. Kennedy is being marketed as a look back to a more innocent, long-lost, and notably liberal era.

Hey! These are all Americans. Oh well, Sarah Polley has her first directorial effort on display, a film called Away From Her. Break a leg, Sarah.

OK, That’s enough Canadiana for now.

Written by slothropia

September 8th, 2006 at 11:14 pm

Three Cheers for James Fallows

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This is one of the most refreshing stories about the so called war on on terrorism I have ever heard. Listen to it and consider.
Fallows has an article in the September issue of the Atlantic Monthly, titled Declaring Victory, in which he argues that the United States should stop overreacting to and being provoked by terrorist acts. I haven’t read the article (it’s still August, right?) but I hope he also discusses alleged terrorist conspiracies.

All that hair gel and baby formula recently confiscated at our airports was a nourishing meal for success starved Al Qaeda and its relatives. By overreacting every time some little group goes “booga booga” and talks about blowing stuff up, we give the Bin Ladens and would be Bin Ladens of the world exactly what they want and need. Public morale is undermined along with the economy. Why do they need to bomb anything if we are so ready to damage ourselves?
And then consider this (btw, to fnd this story I googled “drunk muslim winnipeg”):

A Winnipeg doctor is demanding an official apology and compensation from United Airlines after being kicked off a flight in the U.S. this week, an incident he has characterized as “institutionalized discrimination.” Dr. Ahmed Farooq, a Muslim, was escorted off an airplane in Denver on Tuesday. According to Farooq, reciting his evening prayers was interpreted by one passenger as an activity that was suspicious.

Farooq said the allegation came from a passenger who appeared drunk and had previously threatened him during the trip.

Many others have commented effectively, including No More Mister Nice Blog. Further comment from me is not required. I will note simply that this episode helps the enemy way more than it helps us (and we know who we are, don’t we?)

Written by slothropia

August 20th, 2006 at 6:43 pm

Posted in CBC,Winnipeg