Saturday, July 30, 2005

Hasta la Vista until August 15 or so...

Although I may find time to post in the next few days in various comment sections, I will be silent for the next two weeks as I take a long needed vacation with the family to Newfoundland. There's not a lot of highspeed internet on Trinity Bay, so I may actually have to read.

See you all in two weeks.

PS. I'll take suggestions on what to read on my vacation until Monday morning, when it will be too late. Please leave them in the comments. I already have Secrets and Lies by Bruce Schneier and intend to get Hell Angels by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson tomorrow. Let me know any others.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Public Healthcare and the Doctor shortage

Andrew at Bound By Gravity and I have been having an ongoing debate of about healthcare and a public-private mix. What we seem to agree on is that the shortage of doctors is the real issue and that solving that problem may make it possible for both systems to exist without either suffering.

Please feel free to join in the debate and offer any ideas, suggestions or information you may have. I feel that this is important for all of us accross the political spectrum to join in and hear each other out on this. We can solve this problem if we can understand each other and reach compromises.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Yet more support for Public Single-Payer Healthcare

I simply can't say it as well as the Toronto Star can.

This is more evidence that public single-payer healthcare is not just an idea born of particular ideology or "right vs left" nonsense. In a very practical sense, from one of the largest businesses in the world (General Motors), it simply works best. It give us competitive advantage. It is cheaper to run and keeps costs down.

This is not about "socialism" this is about the best system for Canada. Michael Grimaldi, president of General Motors of Canada, and the raw numbers speak for themselves. Public healthcare, when funded, just works.

So I wonder what is taking Ujjal Dosanjh so long to notice? Wouldn't investing in Healthcare be just as important for business and our competitive advantage as a tax cut? I think so and Michael Gimaldi might agree.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Know your Enemy

I have been in a lot of discussions on terrorism and tactic recently. I thought I'd lay down a little background over at Political Write.

Have a look and feel free to comment here or there.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Remembering the other victims of terror


Comments on this post are now closed (the comments section on previous and future posts remain open). Unfortunately, one of our serious, right-wing bigots - jeff (or Jeff G*** - name removed at the request of another innocent person bearing this name - as he is known in Edmonton) - has decided that this is the appropriate place to post anti-Muslim diatriabes and lies. Well, he's had his free speech. I've tolerated him and his filth for three days. I will no longer tolerate someone who appears to condone murder and repression simply because the victims are not Christians. Read the comments and judge for yourself. If you think I'm out of line, let me know. If Mr. G*** would like to continue to spew this garbage, he can start his own blog.


While London bravely recovers from the July 7th attack on the tube, it is appropriate that we remember that terror and terrorism take many forms and doesn't discriminate. So while some pundits are ready to blame Islam and Muslims for terrorism in general, let us reflect on this day:

July 11, 1995, in Srebrenica, Bosnia, more than 7,000 unarmed Muslim men where murdered in cold blood by Serbian paramilitaries under the command of General Radko Mladic and by the orders of Radovan Karadzic and problably then-Serbian President Slovodan Milosovic, who is currently standing trial in the Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Mladic and Karadzic are still at large somewhere in the Serb areas of Bosnia.

The 7,000 were not combatants. They were the innocent men - brothers, fathers and grandfathers, all aged 12 to 77 - that had fled to this so-called 'UN Safe Zone' with their families in an effort to avoid the atrocities and ethnic cleansing occurring in Bosnia. In the days preceding the massacre, Srebrenica was surrounded and shelled by the Serbs. The small contingent of of Dutch peacekeepers are threatened with death and the slaughter of the those Muslims already in Serb hands. Lightly armed and getting little or no support from the UN HQ (an airstrike was delayed by 4 to 6 hours because the Dutch commander filled out the wrong form when making the request), the greatly out-gunned and outnumbered Dutch relented, and tried as best they could to rescue people and to simply bear witness for the future (counting buses carrying the Muslim men away, counting the dead in the hills after the Serbs shelled refugees as they tried to escape).

These people were killed because of ethnic hatred and as a message to the rest of the Muslims in Bosnia. These horrendous deaths are as much an act of terrorism against the Muslims of Bosnia (and Europe) as subway bombs or airplanes flying into buildings. Remember, terrorism isn't a following of one particular people or religion, it is a cold military tactic: kill or maim innocent people, randomly or indiscriminately, for political ends.

Today as we search for answers in London and elsewhere, let us honour the memory or innocent people - European Muslims, trying to simply live and raise families in peace - who also paid the price of terrorism and religious and ethnic hatred. Let us not, in our anger and grief, forget them or let complacency and narrow minded thinking allow such an outrage to happen again.

Friday, July 08, 2005

On the Bombings in London

First, to the people of London and those that were injured or killed, I present this from Pastor Kevin Powell:

Wind of Heaven
Blow away all anger and hatred
Comfort those in their grief
Brace us for what is to come.


And this from Andrew, who was on a train behind one that blew up, a message for the terrorists we should all live by:

to the terrorist cunts who tried to kill me today:

Fuck you. You missed me. Better luck next time.

That pretty much says it all. Please visit Andrew and leave him some words of encouragement. And lets remember his advice when the terrorists strike here in Canada.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

We are the same, only different

James Bow and Andrew at Bound by Gravity started it: a concerted effort to get bloggers of all political stripes to be civil, polite and to think of that which we hold in common, rather than what make us different.

I respect these two gentlemen and enjoy a challenge as well as the next person so here goes:

All of us political animals in the blogsphere share one main thing in common - we love Canada and wish to make it the best possible place to live. I know this is true of Andrew and James above, as well as DazzlinDino, ALW, wonderdog, Jason Cherniak, CalgaryObserver and daveberta, just to name a few from the blog lists on the right side of this page. I even think this applies to the more shrill among us like jeff, Richard Evans, Le Revue Gauche and Anonalogue. Deep down, despite the rhetoric, I think they really believe the things they write and comment on are for the betterment of Canada.

Where we differ? For the most part I think we differ on how to make Canada better, because we also differ on the what the problems are or the causes of the problems. So I see us all as trying to get to the same place, via different roads. And there will be times when all the roads cross and we all agree on something.

Now, knowing all this should, I hope we can move our debates away from personal attacks, over-generalizations and the general bitterness we have all experienced throughout the spring into more civil, rational discussion on the issues, or policies. I hope we can have debates and discussions that are fought with facts, statistics, evidence and even anecdotes, rather than strawmen, name-calling and large quanities of "look I just read [insert Ayn Rand or Karl Marx or other political philosophy book here] I'm an expert and you are a dummy" innuendo.

That being said, of course, I also think we should call it like it is and not be afraid to be firm and straightforward with those who use these negative tactics. I won't shy away from a good debate and I won't shy away from making someone look like a fool if that is what is needed. I will defend myself from ridiculous accusations - such as being in favour, somehow, of pedophila because I supported SSM or being anti-American because I don't like George Bush or his policies - and I will defend others of any political stripe suffering the same - such as the vicious attacks on Andrew and Mike Brock for daring to ask that the CPC focus on positive, policy based messages rather than messages that don't work.

Democracy and freedom work hand in hand with civility and cooperation. I think if we all agree on this, we can have something else in common.

So let's debate our various, differing ideas on how to make Canada a better place, and come up with the solutions we can all live with.

Is that so hard?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

All I needed to hear today...

"Rockin' In the Free World"

Followed by

"Oh Canada"

That just says it all.

Please go here and here and here. Do something, anything, to make a difference. Let your voice be heard.