Nunc Scio
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Its official.

Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and Benjamin Bradlee have ended decades of speculation by identifying the greatest unnamed source of them all, Deep Throat.

He's W. Mark Felt, former #2 at the FBI. Let us pause to consider this man's effect on history, shall we? Amazing. One of the greatest journalistic sagas ever is now at an end.

Read more in the The Washington Post, the paper that started it all. Free subsrciption required.
  Conservatives falling down a logic hole.
There was certainly a lot of backlash against the Globe and Mail story about evangelical Christians gaining Conservative Party riding nominations. As far as I can tell, there is one rational objection to this piece and two ridiculous ones:

1. RATIONAL: People make the entirely acceptable point that, after all, this is a democracy. If a majority of party supporters in a given riding hold evangelical beliefs, then by all means their values should be reflected in their nominated candidates. Fair play. Just don't feign confusion when the majority of Canadians don't share your theocon agenda and reject your party of choice. Its not because Ontarians are out to screw you...we just believe in civil and human rights.

2. IRRATIONAL: The Globe article was, structurally and in terms of content, a NEWS story. It outlined relevant and timely issue of concern to many Canadians. Editorialization was at a minimum, and both sides were fairly represented. Its not the journalist's fault that the evangelical Christian spokespeople said stupid and anachronistic things.

3. IRRATIONAL: The most ridiculous response was from Calgary Sun Columnist Ezra Levant who cleverly replaced every mention of "Christian" with "Jew" in order to highlight what he perceives to be a double standard. An article of this type about Jews would never be published, he claims, but it is entirely acceptable to castigate Christians in the media. As I outline above, I don't believe the article castigated Christians. But the problems with his arguments don't end there.

Basically, Levant demonstrates a total lack of understanding of bigotry and racism. These concepts move far beyond simple prejudice, but rather also involve an unequal power relationship- domination, oppression and violence against a particular group based on racial or religious differences. Levant's base comparison totally ignores the dominant political and social position Christians of all stripes hold across the western world. It also seems to ignore the very real and heartbreaking history of anti-semitism...something Christians have never experienced (outside of biblical times, of course...but it was never genocidal), will never experience and, truth be told, is something Christians have been perpetrating against other groups (including Jewish people) for HUNDREDS OF YEARS.

I'm amazed Levant missed all this, particularly in light of his own experiences with the Conservative Party and its predecessors. Levant himself vied for the Canadian Alliance riding nomination in Calgary Southwest. He was forced to abandon his bid when, according to Larry Zolf and CBC:

"Levant, in turn, was naive about the opposition facing him in the Alliance. Grassroots Alliance voters swamped Levant headquarters with cries of “In God’s name, go!” It was this grassroots opposition that key players in the Alliance jumped on to push Levant out of the Calgary Southwest seat."

I'm willing to bet those grassroots supporters were evangelical Christians, hence the "In God's name, go." The kicker? Ezra Levant is Jewish. He was victim of the same racism he flippantly disregards in his column.

Where's the double standard now?

The Hitchens Boys Posted by Hello
  The Stalinist Joke
Just read an absolutely fantastic interview on The Guardian between Christopher Hitchens and his brother, Peter. They don't get along. Lots of British wit, arrogance and oddball family dynamics. Check it out.
Friday, May 27, 2005
  No Earthly Purpose
You said it, not me.

The only thing controversial about saying the Conservatives have a hidden social agenda is the word 'hidden'. Seems to me their religious-based intolerancen is pretty much out there for everyone to poke at.

Particularly evocative of this theocon tendency in the CP is a story in Today's Globe and Mail. Looks like evangelical Christians are taking more and more Tory riding nominations. I particularly enjoyed the quote from the Presbyterian Minister:

"It's time we stopped apologizing and started defending who we are," he said. "The evangelical community in Canada, by and large, and socially conservative Catholics, are saying we have been far too heavenly minded and thus we have been of no earthly value for far too long, on too many fronts."

Yeah, I'd agree with that. And now, their earthly value will be solely linked to denying people equality rights. I liked you better when you were focused on the afterlife.
Friday, May 20, 2005

Feeling the heat, eh boyo? Posted by Hello
  Harper Really is the Problem
Great analysis of Harper's great failure from Adam Daifallah (aka Smartest Conservative I Know).

Although I would add one more item to the list of reasons why Central Canada hates Harper: he has the stink of theocon all over him, and that makes us nervous.

Bring in the New!
Thursday, May 19, 2005
  Memo to Stephen Harper:

A prescient analysis, considering how the Stronach Defection has stopped being a political story and is now a love story. WHO CARES? GIVE ME REAL NEWS! Posted by Hello
  Jack for PM?
Maybe Canadians are ready for a change after all...

New poll numbers in the Toronto Star show that Jack Layton is the most trusted politician in the country. I guess patriarchs of crumbling empires and conniving weasels don't really capture the public imagination anymore.

Support for Layton is now at 36 per cent (compared to 30 per cent for Martin and 26 per cent for Harper)...NDP support is static at 19 per cent, but the party is 2nd choice for 28 per cent of Canadians- much more than any other party. All this puts ye olde New Democrats in the best position they've enjoyed since the 1980's.

This minority parliament could turn out to be a good thing (so long as we avoid a Conservative Gov't). It is shaking things up, and creating opportunities nobody could have predicted.
  Straight from the horse's mouth
More from the Ipperwash inquiry...

While I could rhapsodize about the fundamental craptasticness of the Harris tories, I'll let OPP Inspector Rob Fox speak for me. As quoted in the Globe and Mail:

"We're dealing with a real redneck government," Insp. Fox said on the tape. "They are fuckin' barrel suckers, they are just in love with guns . . . they couldn't give a shit less about Indians."

Common Sense Revolution? More like 'mean-spirited bigots gain power'.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Shoe this, Frist Posted by Hello
  Bill Frist = Shoe Fiend

Kudos for anti-social security reform protestors for cornering Republican Senator and House Leader Bill Frist while indulging his expensive shoe habit. Here's some food for thought:

$922: Average guaranteed monthly Social Security benefit for a senior today.

$313: What's left of the guaranteed monthly Social Security benefit a senior today would have with the Bush privatization plan.

$530: Amount Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., dropped on two pairs of new shoes recently.

Thanks to WMCTV for the story and The Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities for the Stats.
  Justice for George?
God, I hope so.

Yesterday's Ipperwash Inquiry proceedings, while not directly implicating Mike Harris in the death of Dudley George, sure make the longstanding claims of 'no political involvement' a lot less credible.

Take Harris' position, articulated by chief aid Debra Hutton that "he wanted the [the native protestors] out." Also, the statement by Inspector Rob Fox that Harris' inner cadre "is on some testosteran or testosterone high". Yep, that sounds like Harris (and his whole cynical crew) to me.

I always knew Harris was a bad leader and, well, a jerk. I guess he's an accessory to murder, too.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
  Into the Hornet's Nest
Not Surprisingly, Conservatives have worked themselves into a right lather over Belinda Stronach's decision to cross the floor, and understandably so. Reactions range from quiet disappointment to seething fury. However, the best so far has to be former Ontario Tory Cabinet minister Bob Runciman, who called Stronach a 'Dipstick' on CFRB.

This begs two questions:

1) Are you five?
2) Is it 1957?

Seriously Bob. Dipstick? If you're going to be childish, you might as well be contemporary.

Also, interesting how the Conservatives are playing the whole, "Poor Peter McKay" angle. He's a big boy...he'll be all right. And like I always say, don't date co-workers.

Respect! Posted by Hello
  Hurray Belinda!
I knew she was too smart to be a Tory.

Belinda Stronach has crossed the floor. She is now a Liberal.

I guess the politics of ignorance, intolerance and selfishness hold limited appeal after all. Good move.

Read more in The Globe and Mail.
  Memo to Bush: You Suck
The Bush Administration is by this point so steeped in hypocrisy, they only way they could tell the truth is to lie.

I enjoyed the US Senate report in The Guardian which alleges that the United States turned a blind eye to illegal oil purchases through the UN Oil for Food Program in Iraq previous to Gulf War II. Apparently, the Bushies were made aware of "illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them."

What's more, 52 per cent of the kickbacks paid to Saddam Hussein's regime came from US oil sales- more than any other nation.

So here's a brain-buster: If Bush was so violently opposed to Saddam Hussein's regime, why did he help prop it up? Or did we all just fall down a logic hole?

At least now maybe the $%#^&* Republicans will lay off Kofi Annan. You're swimming in the same cess-pit, my fact, you dug it.
Monday, May 16, 2005
  A Confederacy of Procedural Wonks
Interesting piece in the Globe this morning on the trio of procedural strategists working to alternatively prop-up/bring down the Libs.

Particularly interesting is the story of 40-year veteran Jerry Yanover. Single, baseball-loving and the proud owner of a Norwich Terrier named Blues, Yanover is the resident expert on all things boring. As he should be...he's been doing under 12 different Liberal house leaders.

Fascinating how the health of the political system is reflected by those in prominent positions. A vibrant, solution-oriented parliament is helmed by visionary leaders, while a fractous morass of naked ambition chooses a procedural guru as its champion.

Good times.
Friday, May 13, 2005
  The Utility of Interpretations
So, this is kinda old news, but bear with me.

Ipsos-Reid released a detailed interpretation of the latest polling numbers. Interesting findings include:

-Tories and Liberals are tied nearly at 31 and 32 per cent respectively.
-In Ontario, the Liberals still enjoy a commanding 11 per cent lead.

Now, I'm sure no one paying attention will be overly surprised by these numbers. What I find irksome is the response by conservatives, notably and Adam Daifallah.

"Dear God, Ontario!" They plaintively cry, "Why do you tolerate such Liberal corruption?"

Indeed, a valid question. But the answer becomes clear when you actually complete the thought. Why do we tolerate Liberal corruption? Because the alternative is so much worse.

In short, we're presented with a Hobson's choice...Do I vote for the Liberals who illicitly distributed taxpayer money for their own benefit, or the neo/theocon alliance whose selfish, gay-marriage blocking, idiotic fiscal policy-making, environmental protection rejecting, lead-by-an-accountant-with-an-eight-dollar-haircut political trainwreck? The choice is really no choice at all.

Get rid of Harper. Get progressive. Let's see some good policy on actual issues. Then, Conservative Party, maybe Ontario and you can have a talk.
Monday, May 09, 2005

Irony! Too much Irony! Posted by Hello
  Paris Hilton is talented. At being an idiot.
While I could compile a categorical list to support this title, I prefer to let this pic speak for itself. It takes a special kind of moron to cram two grammatical errors on one shirt.
  Don't Panic. We're in Good Hands.
You know, for a while there I was worried. As our parliamentary system gradually descended into a four-way, southern-style roundhouse brouhaha for ultimate political control, I thought to myself, "Wait a minute...who's minding the store?" As the government fought for survival and the official opposition sought to exploit the situation to foist some bizarro neo/theocon agenda on an otherwise distinterested population, who was looking out for Canada? Who was making sure good decisions were made, and sound policies implemented? Good god, were we lost in a kind of political nowhereville?

Then I realized I was being crazy. Like all good pressing public issues, health care, post-secondary education, the environment and a de-stabilizing global order ceased to be problems once the major parties got into a spat. They'll wait their turn. People aren't getting sick. Universities won't continue to decline. Our abuse of our natural resources just stopped. And all those wars and horrible human tragedies overseas? They've gone into haitus pending the resolution of our legislative paralysis.

P.S. We're in deep trouble.
Welcome to the Nunc Scio blog. Politics. Media. Culture. Now you know.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jack of all trades, master of none, Graeme is many things to many people. Unfortunately, none of them find him very life-affirming in any capacity. He is a freelance writer, broadcaster, amateur cryptozoologist and occasional political commentator late of London, England and now based in Toronto. Most of the time, he's confused. And a little hungry. But mostly just confused and somewhat uncomfortable writing in the third person.

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"All persons, living or dead, are purely coincidental and should not be construed." Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. <



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