Its the dead of winter, and romance is blooming for the cold, icy hearts of conservatives
Not bad for a Nova Scotia boy...
Even in a party increasingly dominated by a right-wing social agenda, it seems Conservative MP's are still finding ways to get it on.
Of course, its no surprise the the Conservative Party's more progressive element-- namely, Peter Mackay and Belinda Stronach-- have hooked up. Like two refugees from the 21st century seeking solace in each other's arms from a party full of medievalists, the two 'smitten' MP's recently announced their relationship. Read more in the National Post
I wish them luck, and fear the attractive and eerily business saavy children they will spawn.
Toronto's newest and most interesting theatre co-op premieres its first offering tonight. "The Brotherhood of Manns" runs until February 5th. For times and ticket info, plus a description of the show, check out www.alliesallover.com
Amazing performers, original music, and an excellent original script combine to make a night of totally unique theatre. You won't be disappointed.
The Unbearable Lightness of Stephen Harper
What to do, Stephen? Oh, what to do?
As the hysterical reaction to legalized civil gay marriage continues to force the Conservative Party further down the logic hole, Stephen Harper is faced with a tricky dilemma. As leader of a party which has repeatedly been rejected by Ontarians for their dicey social conservatism, does he continue to push the anit-gay marriage issue, satisfying his 'base' (I.E. rich people, single, white males who substitute their careers for any meaningful human interaction in the hopes of becoming rich people and/or dogmatic christians) while further alienating the citizens he needs to win an election?
It appears he has made his decision.
He claims that the majority of Canadians oppose gay marriage, apparently relying on some preter-natural conservative sixth-sense for divining public opinion (as opposed to, say, conducting polls or reading a newspaper). Thus, he is charging boldly ahead, preaching his gospel of blocking gay marriage without imposing the notwithstanding clause, and lauching a new series of ads without consulting his caucus, inlcuding his deputy leader Peter Mackay. Shades of Stockwell Day, anyone?
Let's deal with the fallacies here in order. First, public opinion. All reasonable evidence suggests this is a divisive issue, although there is nothing to suggest widespread public support for the 'nay' side. The fact that many of Harper's own party members support gay civil unions--like Belinda Stronach, one of the few Conservatives who managed to win a seat in Ontario--supports the idea that many Canadians may actually support the idea. Moreover, support for Gay Marriage is typically higher in Urban regions, a demographic group the Conservative Party must win over to shed that pesky 'backwoods lunatic' image. Also, support for civil unions is higher in British Columbia and Ontario. The former is an important part of the CP's legislative success. They vote for conservative candidates to salve their 'regional alientation'--not to support a social agenda. Push gay marriage, and a lot of that support may erode. Further, the simple fact is that the CP will never win an election without Ontario. The gay marriage is hurting, not helping, their quest for voters.
Second, Harper was blasted by no fewer than 134 law professors, exhorting him to "tell the truth" about his plans. Namely, the absolute legal necessity of using the nothwithstanding clause to pass any legislation banning gay marriage. Read more about the legal issue here
Given that whole Quebec stigma, the NWC may be a politically disastrous move for the Conservatives.
A rock and a hard place, indeed. I'd almost feel bad for the guy, if the problem hadn't been created by trumpeting an intolerant, outdated and unconstitutional view.
The more things change...
Remember in the 80's when the United States backed 'death squads' in El Salvador to brutally rape and murder political opposition? Wasn't that fun?
Well, hang on to your Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 'cause here we go again!
Apparently, the 'Salvador Option' is being seriously considered by the Pentagon to deal with the Iraqi insurgency. Special forces will be deployed to train these new squads, who will be composed of Shiite militiamen and Kurdish fighters. Hmmmm...exacerbating religious tensions, much?
These squads will be empowered to attack insurgents across the Syrian border, which could begin another armed conflict with the potential of further de-stabilizing the entire middle east.
Which of course begs the question: did US military planners eat paint chips as childern? And if so, were they lead based?
courtesy the Sojourners, or as I like to call them, "The only progressive christian movement. Anywhere."
As Inagurataion week wraps up, I thought I'd try to offer a little insight of my own. Unfortunately, the heat in my apartment is broken, and the insiduous cold of the Canadian winter is invading my brain. Thus, I turn to the immortal words of Thomas Wolfe (not the foppish one writing today--the actual genius who died in 1938):
I think the enemy comes to us and says to us:
"I am your friend."
I think the enemy deceives us with false words and lying phrases, saying:
"See, I am one of you--I am one of your children, your son, your brother, and your friend. Behold how sleek and fat I have become--and all because I am just one of you, and your friend. Behold how rich and powerful I am--and all become I am one of you--shaped in your way of life, of thinking, of accomplishment. What I am, I am because I am one of you, your humble brother and your friend. Behold," cries Enemy, "the man I am, the man I have become, the thing I have accomplished, and reflect. Will you destroy this thing? I assure you it is the most precious thing you have. It is yourselves, the projection of each of you, the triumph of your individual lives, the thing that is rooted in your blood, and native to your stock, and inherent to the traditions of America. It is the thing all of you may hope to be," says Enemy, "for--" humbly--"am I not just one of you? Am I not just your brother and your son? Am I not just the living image of what each of you may hope to be, would wish to be, would desire for his own son? Would you destroy this glorious incarnation of your own heroic self? If you do, then," says Enemy, "You destroy yourselves-- you kill the thing that is most gloriously American, and in so killing, kill yourselves."
He lies! And how we kniow he lies! He is not gloriously, or in any other way, ourselves. He is not our friend, our son, our brother. And he is not American! For although he has a thousand familiar and convenient faces, his own true face is as old as Hell.
Look about you and see what he has done.
-From "You Can't Go Home Again", by Thomas Wolfe.
OT's Roundup of Alternative Inauguration Day Coverage
Tired of the ceaseless cheerleading on American Networks? Check out some other points of view:
WORLD FEARS NEW BUSH ERA
THE RESTORATION OF A MYTH
THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION
The Village Voice
Leave Spongebob Alone
It must be awesome to be in such a moral panic that cartoon characters can really freak you out.
Social conservative wing-nuts "Focus on the Family" and other associated rational-void groups have accused a new short starring Spongebob Squarepants as promoting the nebulous but seemingly omnipresent 'gay agenda'.
Of course, amid all the gnashing of teeth and cries of "brainwashing!", its just a 10 minute cartoon which teaches tolerance and understanding. Those evil bastards.
Got Inauguration Fever?
Here's why you'll be disappointed, courtesy Slate. READ THE ARTICLE
Condi and the Boxer
Here's a bit of sparkle from an otherwise toadying Secretary of State confirmation hearing for Condoleeze Rice, courtesy the good people at www.tompaine.com
Sen. Barabara Boxer (D-Calif.) gives her the gears over her "loss of respect" for truth. Nice. WATCH THE VIDEO
Can a policy which achieves the exact opposite of what you intended be considered a success?
Apparently so, if your name is George W. Bush.
The National Intelligence Council (NIC), which advises the CIA director, released a 119 page report which projects the changing geopolitical climate, the effect of globalization and the impact of terrorism over the next 15 years. Based on consultations with over 1,000 intelligence analysts the world over, the report concludes Iraw will become "a training ground, a recruitment ground...the opportunity for enhancing technical skills" for a new generation of professionalized terrorists. Boy, I sure feel safe now. READ THE REPORT
A remarkable kind of day...
Yes, its freezing ass cold here in Toronto. But a totally unique freezing ass day.
Sound travels. The distant dull roar of a passing airplane becomes a turbine whine right next to you.
I saw a hawk circling my neighbourhood. Never happened before, regardless of the weather.
The skin burns, the eyes water. But for the central heating, I'd be dead. A day that reminds you that you're still alive.
Man's Inhumanity to Man
I'm growing increasingly frustrated by the inconsideration I encounter everywhere I go. Whether its the person kicking my seat at the movies theatre, or the people who stop and have a conversation in front of the Manulife Centre door, these individuals seem to have no appreciation of the impact of their behaviours on others.
I have a theory. These people, who conservative estimates place at about 80 per cent of the population, are fundamentally unable to recognize the humanity of those around them. Its like every person who they do not know personally are either holograms or robots, and compose some kind of shifting background to their lives. In Toronto, they are thoughtless. In other contexts, they could be mass murderers or despots.
Well, I got news for you. I exist like you exist. And if you don't start giving me he same consideration I give to you, I will let you know about it.
Consider this fair warning.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
I know, I know. I'm not American. But this holiday should be celebrated everywhere.
What better way to commemorate his life than to listen to the man himself at his finest and most eloquent. Hear it at:
The Saturday Morning Bubble
No news. No thoughts. Just sitting around in my pajamas playing Halo 2.
I haven't seen any news. Vancouver could have fallen into the ocean and I wouldn't know about it.
Do I feel guilty for wasting a day? Well, I imagine I would if I had the energy to feel that kind of emotion. For now, pass the peanuts.
Will life be worth living in the year 2000?
Inquiring minds want to know. Find out at: http://www.pixelmatic.com.au/2000/
I wish I had a hovercraft.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
And you can raise someone in the lap of luxury with access to the best education, but you can't make them think.
Special kudos today to HRH Prince Harry and his thoroughly tasteless costume. Check it out: http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/01/12/harry-nazi050112.html
Did he actually think people wouldn't be offended by a Nazi brownshirt on a royal? Use your brain, man.
Ann Coulter is Freaking Insane
She's done it again. The world's most shrill and nonsensical 'conservative' (is this word becoming a synonym for irrationality, or is it just me?) called for the USA to nuke N. Korea as an example to the rest of the world. Apparently, she's getting a bit tired of hearing about civilian casualties in Iraq, and wants to commit a human and environmental holocaust to make sure everyone knows how crazy America actually is.
Stunning. The tissue-thin fabric of her - if you'll pardon the expression - intellect generates a sickly green fog to which all things ignorant are drawn. I think if everyone stopped paying attention to this Queen of the Harpies, she'd probably evaporate. There's no substance there but for the wacky bullshit.
Please, eveyone stop listening. And Ann, shut the hell up. Even if you are a conservative, you can do so much better.