Monday, November 1, 2010

Facebook Wall Posts, Part II

All right. I've culled through the list of Facebook Posts that I've made to my Wall over the past little while, and I'm providing you with my commentary and the links which inspired the posts! Hope you enjoy Part II of my FB posts!


If You Didn't Vote, Shut Up! Former Canadian Diplomat Takes The Easy Way Out, and Misses the Point Completely

Former Canadian Diplomat Robert Fowler speaks to graduating university students about their age-group's propensity not to vote during elections, and suggests that their lack of voting disqualifies them from having a "right" to complain. Nevermind that the political process is stacked against young Canadians to such a degree that increasing numbers of young Canadians feel that their vote just doesn't matter. It's so much easier to attack our youth for not voting than it is to address the very real problems with our own electoral system which systemically disengages young and marginalized Canadians from the electoral process. When your vote doesn't matter, why waste your time? If that's how you perceive your reality (and many do), where is the real problem? Is it with your perceptions, or with the system which creates them? I'd suggest both. But slagging one while remaining silent on the other isn't the answer. Preaching high-minded views about the power of voting just isn't going to resonate with already disengaged voters. Bad move, Mr. Fowler.


Detainees: Not Just for Guantanamo Any More

Is it just me, or is this whole G20 Protest mass-arrest thing turning into a disaster and embarassment for, well, for whoever was in charge. I guess that's the thing: since no one was in charge, the embarrassment isn't sticking to any one level of government or agency. Unfortunately, in the process, many innocent Canadians were swept up by police, charged, held in custody, and facing significant legal bills. Their rights were violated by the state, and even then, the state can't seem to make their case. This is an interesting article about yet another detainee who has been let go after months of legal hassles. Detainee. I guess we'd better get used to that term to describe Canadians held in violation of rights and freedoms here in Canada. Detainees: Not just for Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib any more.


Liberals Suck and Blow on Corporate Responsibility; NDP Doesn't Fare Much Better

Well, you can count on the Liberals to take no principled position, that's for sure. Several NDP members were also missing from last week's vote, including Sudbury's Glenn Thibeault. At least those NDP members present voted in favour of Liberal MP McKay's private member's bill, but it would have been nice for their whole caucus to rally behind this one. Corporate Responsibility is what this bill was all about, and time and again, Liberals demonstrate that it's just not a serious issue for them to pursue. The NDP, too, clearly needs to walk the talk. The Green Party's Elizabeth May was all over this vote with a press release last week; essentially, had Green MP's been in the House, they would have been voting for this bill. While Liberals agonized over finding a way to weasle out of this vote, and while the NDP couldn't get their full caucus together for support, Greens absolutely would have voted in favour of it. Since our antiquated electoral system, however, continues to keep Greens away from parliament, despite the nearly one million Canadians who voted for the Green Party in the 2008 federal election, there remains little on the practical side that we can accomplish. On the moral side, however, it's a different story, and story that needs to be told. Increasingly, the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP will play politics rather than do what's right. And that's no way to make decisions on behalf of Canadians.


What Might Have Been: President John McCain (oh, the Horror! the Horror!)

A great piece by Cindy Sheehan which looks at "what might have been" had John McCain been elected President of the United States. After two years in office, Sheehan predicts the following terrible scenarios: the largest defence budget expenses since World War II, over $700 billion, would be financing multiple wars; war criminals under the previous administration would be slavishly offered protection; the military's "don't ask / don't tell policy" would be defended by the government, despite human rights issues; Israel would be allowed to continue its policy of settlement expansion in the West Bank with only an occassional "tut tut" issued from the White House. Indeed, she paints a horrible picture of "what might had been" had those horrible, horrible Republicans seized control of the White House in 2008. We Canadians can sit here in Canada with a self-satisfied smirk on our faces and revel in the knowledge that at least Obama won the election, and at least Canada doesn't have a monolithic two party system where we keep electing governments of alternating colours again and again, and nothing ever changes!

Hey! I just checked out where this link is coming from. Al Jazeera dot net. I think that's a first for my reposting. I guess the mainstream media in the U.S. is about as enthusiastic with their reporting of dissenting voices as ours is here. Hmmm. Well, I guess I could say that at least this isn't from "Russia Today"...


Wither Climate Change?

While I'm skeptical that anything is going to get through to the Conservative government regarding the need to take action on climate change, we've got to keep plugging away. Maybe we just need a new government?



"The bravest men can sometimes be as young as 6-years old." A truly inspirational story, well worth the read.

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