Archives For politics

Every now and then I read something that completely takes the wind out of me. Usually these involve harrowing stories of amazing individuals, or truly unbelievable events. Other times I am amazed by the utter stupidity and incompetence of people in the modern world. Here I was, pleased with my blogging output for the day, ready to continue reading the first book in my 50 Book Pledge, and then I see this tweet from Norm Wilner:

The link is to an opinion column on the New York Times website entitled ‘Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?’

Look, I have a great deal of respect for The New York Times. It’s generally a fine organization dedicated to putting out quality, well-written journalism. At least, I used to have a great deal of respect for them. Now, maybe not so much. Click to read more.

Republicans are nutjobs. Not all of them, but a lot of them. They are people who view society as something that should not evolve or grow or make progress. They are dragged kicking and screaming into the march of progress and the betterment of society, and they do as much as possible to curb or reverse such trends. They are also people who by and large conflate their views of how government and society should be run with their personal religious convictions. What’s worse, half the time their religious convictions don’t sync up with what the Republican party actually stands for. Find me the passage in the New Testament where it says that those with the most money should have the greatest voice and the most power.

So yeah, I don’t agree with most Republicans on almost anything. There are a few things I do sometimes agree with them on, but not many. That’s why it makes me sad when I do agree with them on things that they are 100% right about for 100% the wrong reasons. ThinkProgess, a left wing site, recently published an article about a poll which revealed that approximately 2/3 Republicans and FOX News viewers believe Islam is incompatible with American values. I am neither a conservative, nor a FOX News viewer (other than occasionally, and only ironically), but I am inclined to agree with that statement. In fact, they are completely correct. Continue Reading…

I don’t have much more to say about this epic rant from MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan. He basically nails it. It’s so refreshing to see a cable news host get riled up and angry, but not be completely crazy like Glenn Beck or completely and morally wrong like Bill O’Reilly. If only the news media and politicians actually spoke the simple, direct truth this way all the time, the world would be a better place.

Good work, Mr. Ratigan. My respect for you just ballooned.

Mayor Rob Ford, very tired, total asshat.

Today I got in front of my TV to watch some CNN. I was confronted with the BREAKING NEWS that Speaker John Boehner was trying to get his totally fractured party to vote one way on his proposed budget/debt-ceiling plan. After a few hours of waiting, Boehner didn’t get anything done, the vote didn’t happen, and the United States continues to be stuck in a terrible political game that threatens the global economy and the welfare of a nation.

Meanwhile, here in Canada, in the fine city of Toronto, democracy is working just as it should.

Toronto recently elected Rob Ford as Mayor. The best way to describe Ford is as the Canadian version of a tea-party clown, only much more obnoxious. Now Rob Ford is tabling cuts to municipal services based on the recommendations of the recent KPMG Report Core Services Review. The report highlights ways for the City of Toronto to save millions of dollars by making bold cuts. Everything is on the line, from cutting funding to community organizations for the poor and troubled youth, to cutting public transportation lines and services, to closing public libraries.

That last one made for some headlines when Margaret Atwood supported a petition which garnered 39,000 signatures in an effort to keep all library branches open. Rob Ford’s brother, Doug Ford, responded by saying, “I don’t even know her. If she walked by me, I wouldn’t have a clue who she is,” and “Tell her to go run in the next election and get democratically elected.” This is the kind of idiotic mindset Toronto is dealing with.

The proposed cuts would systemically alter the entire fabric of the city, and many of the cuts would actually cost the city economically down the road.

Yesterday, the Toronto Executive Committee opened up the Core Services Review to a public forum. And that’s where something happened. I am sitting now, right now, watching a live stream of the open forum that is still going on and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

Ford’s actions have awoken a normally apathetic public. The people of the city have come out of the woodwork to have their voices heard. These are people that understand the power of democracy in action. They are standing up against the people who play to the apathy of middle class voters. They are standing up for the future of one of the greatest cities in the world (hopefully before it loses that lustre).

On Twitter I have seen people using the hashtag #citizenfilibuster. I love that. It’s a slap in the face to what has happened to American politics of late, and it’s the perfect description for what these true citizens are doing. They are taking as stand, not unlike Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, for what’s right. Hopefully their voices are heard by the city councillors.

UPDATE: At one point late in the evening, Rob Ford left the room for roughly an hour. A lot of people speculated about what he was up to. Now we know at least one of the things he did. He called into a radio show on TSN Radio to talk CFL (that’s Canadian Football, for all y’all ‘mericans). While on the line he also took some shots at the people coming down to City Hall. That’s real nice, Ford. Real nice.

This is what democracy looks like, and ain’t it beautiful?