The return of son of Just trust us we’re from the government…

May 12, 2006

A Washington Post done yesterday and reported today says that 63% of Americans believe that it’s okay for the NSA to collect information on their phone calls in their attempt to fight privacy terrorism. In the same survey, 51% approved of the way Bush was handling privacy matters.

Naturally, Right Blogostan is hailing this as proof that the peeps are behind the prez on this issue – Michelle Malkin veritably gushes:

Message to the MSM from Americans with their heads screwed on straight: We’re not scared.

I presume she means not scared of the NSA, because it sures seems like they’re still scared shitless of al Qaeda.

“We’re not scared to surrender even more personal liberties.” What do we need these rights and freedoms for when we have this shiny flag to wave?

“We’re not scared to continue unquestioning on this war against, uh, um, er, who, exactly?”

“We’re not scared to put ever more trust into the capable hands of The Decider.”

She then goes on to quote Captain Ed, who phrases the issue interestingly, saying that this is merely a “sacrifice” being asked of the US people in this war:

When we finally acknowledged that Islamist terrorists had declared war on us, George Bush warned us that we would have to make sacrifices in order to beat our enemy. So far, we have not been asked for much in the way of sacrifice.

Why do I think this is interesting? Because it is curious that so little has been asked of the US citizenry since this “global war” was launched five years ago. It is usual in times of conflict for the government to ask for sacrifice on its part to achieve the better end – rationing, increased taxes, Victory gardens, mandatory conscription. What has been asked in this one? We were told at the outset to go out and spend money and have vacations or the “terrorists have won”. Bushco then gave enormous tax breaks to the richest in the country, all in an effort to support the “war effort”. In fact, the only visible effort so far in this “war” is the increased presence of military recruiters in schools that service poor communities, except at election time when the war is trotted out by Bush the mountebank as a surrogate for policy.

Don’t you think that if this was a “real” war there would actually be some visible effort to fight it outside of the battlefield? Would I sound like a complete whacko if I suggested that maybe, just maybe, the Bush administration is not really seriously at war? At least not at war unless legally or electorally convenient?


Problem with the Democratic Party #6127

May 12, 2006

Not only do we have values, we have all values!

What is going on in the Democratic Party? Why does the Left tolerate these idiots?

It’s critical that there be a left-wing voice in the US two-party state and in theory they are it. However, their actions over the past couple of decades have shown in stark detail that they are not a friend of the Left. Oh they’re there at the door with hand out spouting about representative government, but when they get a sniff of power they dance to the tune that the big-time corporate donors play. I mean, seriously, if the Democrats really represented your interests, would we be seeing Howard Dean trying to kiss Pat Buchanon’s ass saying that they Dem’s are against same-sex marriage, but then turning around and telling the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force that they are for it? It’s like the Democratic Party’s first instinct is to bend in the same way George Bush’s is to lie.

If this blog does have any American readers, please hear my plea: stop voting for the Democratic Party. They have long ago forgotten about you and your petty little egalitarian demands and are just another cluster (cabal? coven?) of Republicans. By trying so hard to woo soft-Republican voters over they have simply assumed that the Left has no alternative but to vote for them because otherwise the Republicans will win the election. Well, guess what – the Democrats are going to lose the next election and the one after that and the one after that. By not actually believing in anything, or rather by believing in whatever you tell them to believe, they have become a well-oiled election losing machine. Noone should vote for an unknown and they have become just that. And if they did win it would be just with another Clinton-type soft neo-con that feels your pain anyway, so why bother?

But what are you going to do if the Republicans win again? Well, it’s tough, but let’s start with the obvious – the Republicans are going to win again. No question. Which of the list of leadership contenders that the Democrats are putting forward is going to win you an election? Any of those likely to crack the Republican base? Nope. Any of them going to rally the campuses? Come on. Is it possible that they could win an election without turning into a Republican? Likely not.

So what is a lefty to do?

Back independents, start your own parties, get your asses out and vote; but not for the two biggies. If this fall 80% of the eligible voters came out and 25% voted for a third-party or for independents, you will see some motion from the big creaky two. Nothing real yet, but motion. Then, when, in 2008 they again see 80% of the vote but 30% going to third-party options, they will know that the writing is on the wall.

There are two ways to create a real Left voice in the US – change the Democratic Party or make your own. By voting for third-party options you make either one of those possible. You might well start something that becomes a national party unto itself, who knows? But if not, then at the very least you will have told the Democrats in no uncertain terms that they cannot simply assume your vote. When they stop taking you for granted, they will start listening, and when they start listening they might just start acting. But they haven’t heard from you yet.

To now the biggest indicator that there is a problem in American politics is the low and decreasing voter turnout. However, that can be explained by a hundred different things, not all of which can be true. There is no doubt in my mind, and Michael Moore points it out in his work, that a large number of you non-voters simply feel that neither of those two parties speak for you. That is all well and good, it is arguably impossible to represent all interests in two parties, but you are not telling anyone this by not voting. Get out there and vote for someone else for a change. Don’t let the Dems scare you out of voting for Ralph Nader or Green or whoever, because they are not going to win anyway.


Son of Just trust us, we’re from the government

May 12, 2006

So we, the Nova Scotia taxpayers, should not hold our breaths expecting to find out how much hosting the Commonwealth Games is likely to cost us because, get this, it will only embolden our enemy.

Yes, you read that right.

Last week in city hall we had our councillors bowing in deference and trust before the expertise and good-heartedness of the bid committee telling us that we have to just trust these fine people with what will likely be hundreds of millions of our dollars. Then yesterday, facing questions about the potential financial costs from NDP MLA Maureen MacDonald, Health Promotion Minister Barry Barnet responded thusly:

What I fail to understand is why it is that we need to focus on issues that will actually weaken our position. And I really believe that if we provide too much information to our competition, it will weaken our position.

Do the people in government actually think that the cost of hosting the games is going to affect the bidding from the other two countries? Is the bid committee simply going to look at how much each group is going to spend and pick the shiniest number? (With the list of perks that the Commonwealth Games Federation demands, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if this was at least partly true, actually.)

What is being asked for is a guestimate of the actual cost of hosting the Games to the taxpayers of Canada, Nova Scotia, and Halifax, not a breakdown of where that money is being spent and what facilities will be constructed. I understand that a detailed list of facilities provided could affect competing bid preparation, but that is not what is being asked for.

Unless of course, the Games backers are worried that the number itself is so high that it is not sustainable in a province that is as badly in debt as this one. If that is the case, then perhaps the bid would be at risk not to defeat by competing countries, but by a taxpayer revolt here. That would indeed put the onus on the provincial and municipal governments, not to mention the bid committee, to get out and sell the process to us, the people that are actually going to pay for it.

We the taxpayers should be able to weigh the likely costs with the potential benefit in an open debate on the topic. If the risk is worth it, it is up to us, not the government to make that decision.

Oh, and we wouldn’t want that now, would we?

[Edited for typos]


Impending election?

May 12, 2006

It sure looks like Rodney MacDonald is about to call a Nova Scotia election. He’s even dredging up the old Sunday shopping issue as a way to drum up support in urban Halifax, support which he’ll need if the Tories are to win a majority this time around. A couple of years ago we had a plebiscite attached to municipal elections in which in which voters were asked about it and the province voted narrowly against it in a vote that was split largely down urban/rural lines.

How do the other parties stand on the issue? The NDP’s Darrell Dexter would like to see another plebiscite attached to the next round of municipal elections, which should be in 2008 or 2009. Francis MacKenzie, the leader of the Liberal party would like to let each municipality decide on its own on the issue, which is like saying “I want Sunday shopping but don’t want to piss off the country folk by saying so”. It’s an attempt to anger no one with an actual decision and still get a result – Sunday shopping will spread across the province as soon as one town opens the door.

In case you are interested in the NS political scene, I’ve taken up MikeM‘s kind offer to jump in as guest-poster on things provincial in a new blog he’s started up on issues related to the Nova Scotia provincial election. It should prove to be an interesting forum; me the mild-mannered kevvyd (and maybe some cohorts from this blog) , Mike, the Tory barbarian, and Lars who has a site dedicated to things Liberal.

I hope to see you there.


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