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A question regarding the Tibetan uprisings, the China Olympics, and Canada

As even the Chinese government admits that the uprisings in the capital city of Tibet have spread to other provinces in the region, I have a question lingering in my head that I’ve been musing about, and I’ll throw it out there for others to comment on if they so choose.

Harper’s foreign policy has been very hawkish since he’s been in power – it imitates the US’s rather closely in that we don’t criticize our allies for democratic abuses (ie. Columbia, or tiptoeing around Mexico over the Brenda Martin affair until public pressure finally forced action), but we’re very critical of potential adversaries. China has been one of those […]


Reaction to Obama’s speech yesterday by the US media

It looks like the media (or the print media at any rate) grasped the significance of the Obama speech yesterday on the politics of race and race relations. Most are heralding this as landmark speech – ranking it in some papers as beside some of the great American presidents speeches in terms of importance to American society. The New York Times for example says this:

There are moments — increasingly rare in risk-abhorrent modern campaigns — when politicians are called upon to bare their fundamental beliefs. In the best of these moments, the speaker does not just salve the current political wound, but also illuminates larger, troubling issues that the nation is wrestling with. Inaugural addresses by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt come to mind, as does John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech on religion, with its enduring vision of the separation between church and state. Senator Barack Obama, who has not faced such tests of character this year, faced one on Tuesday. It is hard to imagine how he could have handled it better.

Ok you say, that’s the New York Times, a liberal paper which, while it endorsed Hillary Clinton, would be expected to be caught up in the Obama speech. How about the Dallas Morning News then, which called it the single most important speech since Dr. (Martin Luther) King died. How about the Sacremento Bee, saying that Obama was speaking to the ages? The St. Louis Dispatch, calling it an extraordinary gift to America? And many more along the same lines. Heck, even some political strategists in Canada who’ve seen it all and need a lot to move them/amaze them/stun them are stunned by this speech.

Historians may look back at this speech and say this is what earned Barack Obama not only the Democratic nomination, but the Presidency. At the very least, it may be as the Seattle Times said, a watershed moment on race relations in America.


Toronto Star: NDP strategy of attacking Liberals not working.

Well, as you know, there was some byelections around here a couple of days ago. One of the bylines that came out of that was the dismal showing of the NDP in the urban centres. More then a few Liberal bloggers have said that this shows that their strategy of constantly attacking the Liberals and almost virtually ignoring the Conservatives, or at least keeping their attacks low-key on the government has failed to resonate with the public, and I’m of the same view.

Of course, that hasnt stopped the NDP bloggers from pressing their attacks on the Liberals/completely ignoring the Conservatives, or dismissing those allegations of failed strategy as mere […]


An example of why Barack Obama inspires

Listen to this speech of Obama’s this AM on race and politics (which he apparently wrote himself).

Judging by the amount of commentary out there, there are many out there (who aren’t Obama loyalists) ranking this speech up there with some of the best.


Stalemate: Poll (Decima).

It must be polling release day or something. Strategic Council released another poll this AM which shows a still sizable Conservative lead – one that as Christine pointed out, caused even CTV to issue a disclaimer that SC’s poll have been showing higher Conservative support then other polling companies.

As if to verify that, Decima releases a poll on the same day that shows a virtual tie “with little sign of momentum”:

The latest Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey had support for both the major federal parties flatlining at 32 per cent. The NDP was at 17 per cent, the Bloc Quebecois nine and the Green party was at eight. The […]


Thoughts on the byelection results.

– Turnout for all 4 byelections was abysmal (as expected)

– I’m a tad concerned that the “stealth-Con” candidate in Vancouver Quadra who didn’t show up to a lot of the all-candidates meetings and was criticized for it still managed to come within 151 votes of winning. A lot of Liberal vote out there went to the Greens, which explains part of the reason why. I’ve heard that there was some discontent with Joyce Murray as a candidate, which may be the reason many parked their votes to the Greens. A win is still a win however. I WOULD be interested to see where those last 37 polling stations […]


Live political chat on the byelection results as they happen this evening.

I’ve mentioned this already in our announcements at Prog Blog and in my Facebook status message, but for those of you who are political junkies/geeks and want to talk politics and discuss the byelection results as they happen, join us at the Canadian Politics chatsite that David Graham is hosting at his blog.

Click on this link, and when you get there, choose a name/handle/alias for yourself in the text box provided, and click on the “Join The Conversation” Button. (You can also access the chatsite via IRC software and instructions are provided at the aforementioned link on how to do that, but this is the simple way to join […]


Global Warming? What Global warming?

 That’s a socialist moneysucking scheme/myth! Or that’s what some folks on the rightwing claim.

Of course, we then read stories that shows quantitative evidence that the climate-change deniers  have no idea what they’re talking about, like this one in the Toronto Star today. The Arctic icepack is disappearing and shrinking so fast, it’s thwarting scientific experiments:

Massive shrinkage of the permanent ice pack last summer scuppered plans to run continuous measurements and experiments starting this month at a semi-permanent base out on the ice, south of Banks Island in the Western Arctic.

Part of the plan was to reach a semi-permanent base via snowmobile, while the ice-breaker was nearby in solid ice behind an ice-bridge that forms every year. The scientists however have been forced to relocate to another route and fly in intermittently; the problem is that there IS no solid ice or ice-bridge, because the ice has disappeared in massive amounts:

…the bridge hasn’t formed this year because ice floes are passing freely through the chokepoint into the Beaufort Sea, which is relatively unclogged because of the shrinkage in the ice pack. Scientists estimate that an unprecedented 1.3 million square kilometres of ice disappeared in the summer of 2007 from the permanent Arctic ice pack, the zone that remains ice-covered at the height of summer.

But of course, if you listen to the members of the climate equivalent of the Flat-Earth Society, there’s nothing to see here vis-a-vis climate change – its all a big scam to drain rich nations of their money and prevent companies from as making as much money as they can.

Scientific facts and real-life observations such as above prove otherwise, but these folks aren’t grounded in reality very well. Either that, or they simply don’t care.


Scott’s Sunday bird-blogging.

Aha! I bet not too many folks have ever bird-blogged before! I should copyright it.. or something.

Anyhow, we’ve just recently in the past few days had a flock of Cedar Waxwings come to the house. They’ve been in our crabapple trees at the front, but they were also tame enough to come up to beside the holly bush which is next to the sunroom, so I thought I’d take some photos, as we don’t see this bird too often around our place, even with the good cover and the crabapple trees. I’m going to have to leave these pics in fairly big size, else you won’t really see them […]


One Conservative candidate that wants to be muzzled by the Con strategists.

One of the Conservative PMO’s campaign strategy with Conservative candidates running in by-elections is to either refuse the national media access to them to ask questions, or brush them off saying they’re too busy campaigning to talk.

Apparently, this is because getting asked questions by the national media on national matters is too uncontrolled an atmosphere for them, and the PMO and Harper certainly wouldn’t want to have a candidate say potentially damaging things, or else have the candidate put in an awkward position and embarrassed by being quizzed on controversial Conservative policies. We saw that strategy with failed Cons. candidate Dianne Cunningham Haskett in London a couple years ago, […]

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