Colbert at the Press Corps dinner

I’m shamelessly stealing much of this from Chris Durang at the Huffington Post, so I may as well just cut and paste! Here are the some main points: Colbert’s performance was amazing, if uncomfortable for viewers. Let’s face it, the best satire is usually uncomfortable, and Colbert’s schtick represents a mirror for the worst side of the American press. Most of the biggest neo-con cheerleaders would be present in the audience, and would understandably be uncomfortable with the faux cheerleading of Colbert. As Durang points out, it’s like the scene in Hamlet where the prince forces King Claudius to watch the ‘play’ which not-so-subtly accuses Claudius of murder. I’m just not sure if Bush is Claudius in this simile, or if the whole room is basically just a collection of Claudius’. In more modern terms, Colbert channels the spirits of Lenny Bruce and Andy Kaufman with his ability to make the audience, and the target, squirm.

Colbert’s act was universally trashed or ignored by the mainstream media. A quick Google News search on Stephen Colbert gives a list of 424 hits, but perusing many of those stories (such as The Chicago Tribune, CBS News, The NY Times), they either devote most of their inches to what a meanie Colbert is, or they simply include him as a footnote to the “Bush twin” impersonation act. Colbert’s act consisted mostly of back-handed compliments to the President, and at the end the President seemed pretty peeved. A jester like Colbert would not be doing his job if he didn’t make the President-King question his own flaws.

For your viewing pleasure, here is a link to the Colbert performance (the second link in the search). I won’t be able to watch it until I get home this evening, so I hope everything I wrote was accurate! I did read the transcript, and it reads like gold.


Cherniak on Politics: Let’s talk Iran

Jason Cherniak has posted on Iraq and the comments make for interesting reading. Naturally, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, but the other ones are actually worth reading.


Poverty and Tenants’ Rights in Nova Scotia

A few days ago, here, I made reference to the process of gentrification, and the driving of low-income people out of the urban core. I have in the past referred to my volunteer work, and in the course of this work I listened to a presentation from Cole (Hey!), a young man who is a member of the Halifax Coalition Against Poverty (HCAP). A very interesting and enlightening presentation, and what particularly interested me was the current focus of HCAP’s efforts.
HCAP is educating tenants about their rights under the law – rights which were severely curtailed by the passing of regulations to accompany the Rent Review Act. The Act itself, passed in 1989, provides a series of checks on the amount that rent can be increased, and the conditions under which increases can happen. The Act sounds somewhat similar to one under consideration in Ontario – which, if accounts I have heard are true, is in desperate need of some form of rent control.
The Nova Scotia Act started with the best of intentions, but these intentions were dismantled by the single regulation made to accompany the Act in 1993.

The entire text of the Regulation (copied from the NS Government’s website) is below:
1. Effective on, from and after the 24th day of August, 1993, all classes of residential premises are exempt from the application of the Rent Review Act.

Pretty much takes care of that, doesn’t it?

I urge the folks from Ontario who read this (Hi!) to support and encourage the passage of their new law. And, I urge citizens of Nova Scotia to support HCAP in its’ efforts to effect the repeal of the regulation in any way you can – sign a petition, write to the government, whatever.
Otherwise, thanks to the rampaging housing market and the desire to ‘reclaim’ the urban centre for the affluent, the people who are most in need will be driven out of the places they most need to be. Their homes.


Poll reveals that 9% of Americans think that the purpose of the Iraq War is to kill US troops

Either that or 9% of the US population are idiots. Or, I suppose 9% of them work for KBR, Bechtel, or Haliburton.

A CNN poll just published indicates that 9% of Americans cling to the belief that the mission in Iraq has indeed been “accomplished”. This indicates that there is in all likelihood a different definition of the word “accomplished” in use that I’m unfamiliar with.

1 : to bring about (a result) by effort
2 : to bring to completion : FULFILL
3 : to succeed in reaching (a stage in a progression)
4 archaic a : to equip thoroughly b : PERFECT
5 :a : to fall short b : to be or become absent or inadequate c : to be unsuccessful (as in passing an examination) d : to become bankrupt or insolvent

Oh, I see the problem, they inserted one of the definitions of “fail” into their definition of ‘accomplish” in their dictionary. I knew it had to be something easy to fix like that – phew!

Other results of the poll indicate that 40% believe that the mission will be accomplished someday. To put this into more common English, the “mission”, the goals of which were based on lies about WMDs and purported links to terrorism and al Qaeda, will soon be accomplished. Further paraphrasing: the mission, at great real cost, will soon attain its imaginary goal.

How silly of me, Bush won the election in ’04 – the mission was totally accomplished. That 9% is just way ahead of the curve, that’s all!