Phew. Canada manages to save itself, again.

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Canada’s federal election results are in and it looks like the Liberals have made it to a minority government. The big upset seems to be Ontario, where the polls had shown a 50/50 split between the conservatives and the liberals, but the liberals took 3/4 of the province, pretty much sealing the deal.

Since I live in the US, I hadn’t paid too close attention to this election. All I really cared about was that the conservatives didn’t get into power. I probably align most closely with the NDP, idealogically, but the Liberals aren’t too far off. Had I been able to vote, I don’t know which way I would have gone. I would have been tempted to vote Liberal to try to ensure victory over the conservatives. However, assuming I liked the NDP platform better, I don’t know if I agree with voting for a party that’s not your first choice.

Also, I’m being a bit extreme when I say that Canada “saved itself” by not electing the conservatives. They’re nowhere near the American conservatives – they’re closer to the Democrats. Part of me likes to think that had they won, at least I wouldn’t be scared – like most of the Republicans scare the crap out of me (McCain’s the only example I can think of that isn’t terrifying.) However, the other part of me wants to shout that it’s too complacent of an attitude. I don’t want my country turning into “America Light.” I’m proud of the ideals that we (usually) stand for, and don’t think we should try to emulate someone because they’re our big neighbour. If we had to look to another country’s ideology for a guide, most of the western European countries would serve well.

I don’t understand why some Canadians want to move towards the American-style system. Are we trying to import the skyrocketing divorce rates, outrageous violent crime rates, low voter turnouts, low percentage of people who receive good health care, or bad world-wide image? Most of the advantages people cite are related to being wealthy. Yes, some things in the US might be better, on average, if you are wealthy. But I have news for the 99% of Canadians who aren’t wealthy – we’re going to be added to the bottom of the list, not the top.

Fahrenheit 9/11

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I went to see Fahrenheit 9/11 when it opened last night. Due to some of the reaction in the media, beforehand, I had put myself in the mindset of “just enjoy it for what it is.” I was expecting something super-sensationalist.

Apparently, but not suprisingly, those people in the media who were saying those things haven’t seen the movie. This film was in the very same style as Bowling for Columbine. However, there was even less “opinion” parts of it than the earlier movie. The film, for the most part, was conveying facts. Facts about Bush’s business dealings with the Saudis, facts about Iraqi and American deaths in the war, facts about events surrounding 9/11, etc. No one can dispute the fact that many thousands of Iraqi civilians have been murdered. The part that’s disputable, for those in favour of the war, is whether those people are worth less than us.

Whether you agree with the contents of the movie or not, this is what I believe to be the merit of the movie: to get several important facts, which have been overlooked by the major media, into the public arena. To this goal the movie has done very well even before it’s official release date. Everyone is talking about this movie, even the “right,” which just gives it more momentum. As soon as the opponents of the movie begin trying to disprove his facts/theories they will have made it to those same media outlets. At this point the public gets their first real glimpse of them and a few of them will make a judgement for themselves.

This is a documentary for an issue. That’s exactly what BfC was, as well. And it’s of course not suprising that the “opponents” of the issue are the ones up in arms about it. <rant>The only people this right-wing battle against this movie may convince are the drones who watch Fox News. I don’t think anyone’s trying to convince them, anyways – they’re too far gone. Were I a Christian, like many of those people claim to be, I’d say we should forgive them for their sins – but I’m not.</rant>

Anyways, this is always true, but especially in this case I have absolutely ZERO respect for anyone who says ANYTHING about this movie without having seen it. I’ve heard people at work say Moore is an “asshole” for making this movie. Well, they’re the asshole for being ignorant enough to comment on a movie they haven’t seen.

From Torture to Murder

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Why is this not being covered in the mainstream media? The same type of people who were doing the torturing in Iraq have now moved to murder. They took a former Iraqi General, put him in a sleeping bag, sat on his chest and covered his mouth. He then suffocated.

Is there any way this situation in Iraq could get any worse? It’s like someone’s going down a checklist “Hmmm… what are the top 10 things we can do to get the rest of the world to hate us? Today’s is number 2: murdering prisoners!”

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/nm/20040624/ts_nm/iraq_abuse_dc

King Moon!

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Ran across this interesting article. It’s about how the Ultra-crazy-rightwing-moneymachine otherwise known as Sun Myung Moon got Coronated in the Senate building as the Second Coming. The ceremony includes capes and crowns and the whole get-up.

This guy’s insane, and it’s disgusting that the “right” willingly takes money from him. It only takes about 10 seconds to find enough quotes from this guy to realize how crazy he is.

Read the article here:
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/06/21/moon/index.html

Bush and Cheney in Wonderland

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Recently there have been articles floating around about how Bush is acting increasingly crazy, like this one. Initially I wasn’t too inclined to put too much stock in it. I assumed it could be events that may have somehow been taken out of context. I’m all for bashing Bush, but I have to temper it somehow.

However, articles like the ones below make me rethink those previous assumptions:
http://gainesvillesun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040614/APN/406140864&cachetime=5
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2004/06/16/bush_backs_cheney_on_assertion_linking_hussein_al_qaeda/

The articles are about how Bush and Cheney still assert they believe Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda. This scares me because it furthers the feeling that these two guys feel they’re so righteous that they’re not willing to listen to anything opposing their position. I bet they don’t watch the news, or if so get it through a massive filter, for their own protection. How can any sane person govern a country in this way? Especially the most militaristically powerful country.

And then, one more thing I’m sure they won’t listen to, is the 20-odd ex-Republican appointed diplomats and military officials speaking out against this disaster of a foreign policy:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=2026&e=7&u=/latimests/retiredofficialssaybushmustgo

Irk the Czar! Irk the Czar!

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I’d never link to Fox news for any real news story, but I just found this hilarious. The title of the link, from the homepage, was “Canadian city’s lax attitude toward pot irks U.S. drug czar.” Heh, I’m glad we got the attention of a “czar” from the US, and in a humorous way, at that. Whoever this “czar” is, it just gives me a nice, warm fuzzy feeling to think of him stewing away in his office somewhere, muttering “Those Damn Canadians!!”

Maybe one of these day’s they’ll wake up and realize the “war on drugs” is a failure. Maybe this will be the same day they realize the “crusade against the Middle East” is a failure — *cough* “war on terrorism”, sorry.

I’m not saying I am in favour of legalizing all drugs, but anyone who looks at the stats sees the war on drugs is nothing more than a front to make people feel safer. Gullible people, that is.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,122789,00.html

He truly is a War President

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This is the best incarnation of this chart I’ve seen so far. It shows Bushs approval rating since he took office, but also from all different poll sources. I find it interesting that the only things that have caused an increase in his approval rating were the terrorist attack, the war and then the capture of Saddam. Those are the 3 humps on the chart. He has done absolutely nothing else that has increased peoples confidence in him.

It’s just so telling… he really is a “war president” in the sense that his approval rating would probably be zero without the war. Looking at the chart gives me some confidence, because it looks so absolutely inevitable that he’ll lose the election. I think the only thing that would save him is to capture Bin Laden right before the election. It couldn’t be too far ahead or he’d slip past 50 again.

I wonder if there’s another president in history who’s approval rating, when charted, had a negative slope for 99% of their term, like Bush?

http://www.hist.umn.edu/~ruggles/Approval.htm

A Gods Will? Manifest Destiny? Creepy.

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As I was flipping through some channels I decided to stop for a few minutes on the funeral service for Ronald Reagan. One of the things I heard scared me. A lot. I know it’s nothing new, but it really crystalized some of the thoughts I’d been having lately. The quote I’m referring to is:

“Winthrop (John Winthrop, the Pilgrim leader) believed that the eyes of the world would be on America because God had given us a special commission, so it was our duty to shine forth. The Winthrop message became the Reagan message.”

This sense that America has somehow been appointed by a god, plus the whole “Manifest Destiny” stuff, really freaks me out. Especially the part about being appointed by a god. Don’t people see the pattern and realize that this has been used so many times throughout history to justify all kinds of evil acts? The US government says bad things about how the some Palestinians declared a Jihad, because it’s trying to use religion. But when the US says they are appointed by a god, and then goes to war with somebody, doesn’t that imply that their god is against their enemies?

Further, it still makes me laugh (in a sad way) , when I hear Bush officials talking about the evils of Religious and Islamic Fundamentalists. There is currently a huge surge of religious fundamentalism going on right in the US. I’ve never seen the country so polarized with religious causes. However, most people don’t notice that because no one sees their own religious views as being extreme. They obviously think they’re right, because they’re following their gods will. I found an interesting article talking about how all Abhrahamic religions have a major flaw in that they can’t peacefully coexist with any other religion. It is so ingrained that they are the correct ones, that it always leads to conflict. I wish I could find this link again.

Maybe we should all become Budhists – I’ve never heard of a war in the name of Budha.

The transcript I quoted from: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/12/politics/12text.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5062&en=9a67a59847cb1349&ex=1087704000

Interesting article talking about this, plus how it seems similar to Germany in the 30′s:
http://www.suntimes.com/output/greeley/cst-edt-greel11.html

Did they want this war? Apparently not…

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Good to see the Brits give Blair a kick in the ass for being a shill for Bush. Let’s see the same happen to Emperor Bush next.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3796497.stm

Oh, the lies… the LIES!

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This kind of lying and deception really ticks me off. I don’t believe for a second that it’s not calculated. They know that with today’s media all that matters is headlines. If you end up being wrong, no one will pay attention to retractions, the original message is what sticks.

So the latest example of this is that the Bush Administration released their yearly report on terrorism on Apr 29 and grossly understated the number of deadly attacks. This made it sound like attacks had decreased, which of course they try to use as proof that the crusade against the middle east – er, sorry, war on terrorism – is actually working. Now it’s over a month later and this finally gets discovered. But it won’t matter. It should, but it won’t. I feel bad for the american public that they don’t care anymore about this kind of stuff, but it will eventually come back to bite them. I just hope the masses wake up sooner rather than later, as it’s obviously more costly the longer it lasts.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=2026&ncid=716&e=28&u=/latimests/20040609/ts_latimes/uswillrevisedataonterror

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