Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tuesday digest

- The incoming Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee seems to be a little underqualified. I think he could use a few briefings to learn the basics about the enemy the United States has been facing for five years.

Nice job, Nance.

- If this is any indication, Muslim reformers in Pakistan still have a ways to go. Approximately 20,000 men turned out to protest changes to a law concerning the number of witnesses necessary for a victim to accuse an attacker of sexual assault (currently four under Pakistan's interpretation of Islamic law). Under the new proposals, the judge would decide in what court the case would be heard which would then impact the number of witnesses required.

Here's hoping that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf doesn't lose his nerve.

- I love the irony when the global market economy basically foots the bill for socialist revolutionaries like Hugo Chavez.

- I'm not a big fan of dictatorships of either the right or left but it's clear that in many respects, the political orientation of authoritarians certainly matters as shown by the case of Chile as compared to Cuba, leaving aside the deafening silence from certain quarters regarding the atrocities committed by Castro as they posthumously damn Pinochet. That said, I think the usually reliable Wall St. Journal is too easy on the recently-deceased general.

- Speaking of unsavoury characters, here's the last word on Kofi Annan and his underwhelming tenure.

- Post-November, a growing number of commentators have suggested that it's perhaps time for libertarians to rethink their attachment to the Republican Party. I can't say I blame them. Personally, I wouldn't call myself a pure libertarian, not by a long shot, but nor am I a moral conservative although I think that they put forward many cogent arguments like this one on parenting.

The debate that is going to take place over the next two to four years within the GOP is going to take place largely along libertarian vs. moral conservative lines and it's going to be fascinating to see what choices that party will make as it tries to rejuvenate itself.

- Reason #47 why Canadian politics is not a matter to be taken seriously: we now have the leader of a party that ...

a) runs candidates in one province out of ten
b) at best, can only purport to represent less than one in four Canadian citizens by virtue of Quebec's population
c) has a level of support that consistently hovers around a number no higher than approximately one in ten voters across Canada and
d) by its very nature, cannot aspire to government, is also dedicated to the break-up of Canada and doesn't believe in the legitimacy of Canadian institutions

... now demonstrating more nerve than ever.

Essentially, they are threatening to take Parliament hostage by dictating the terms of engagement of the Canadian military's mission in Afghanistan and forcing a confidence vote on the matter, which may launch us into a another election.

This is a complete farce and a total outrage.

It's embarassing to me as a Canadian, quite frankly.

Is it any wonder why there's no goodwill towards the Bloc Quebecois in the rest of the country?


At 12:27 PM, Blogger Angello90 said...

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At 12:50 PM, Blogger Bobcaygeon said...

The rant about the Bloc is nothing but sour grapes.

Quebec represents a quarter of Canada's population - so do the populations of Alberta, BC and Manitoba combined. If those 3 provinces banded together to form some sort of Western coalitions, would you be "embarrassed" if they threatened to bring down the minority gov't over an issue of huge importance to their constituents?

The rant about the Bloc is nothing but sour grapes.

Quebec represents a quarter of Canada's population - so do the populations of Alberta, BC and Manitoba combined. If those 3 provinces banded together to form some sort of Western coalitions, would you be "embarrassed" if they threatened to bring down the minority gov't over an issue of huge importance to their constituents?

Frankly, I don't see how you can purport to be a federalist, and then constantly lament the fact that 1/4 of the population has a largely different the pressing issues of the day (the Environment and Afghanistan to name two).

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

NEWFLASH: The separatist Bloc Quebecois does not represent all Quebec voters.

More broadly, the Bloc doesn't poll at 25% of eligible Canadian voters - never has, never will - and basically can't, socialist pipe dreams aside.

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Bobcaygeon said...

Like it or not, the Bloc represents 1/4 of the population in our system... and as I said, if you don't like that sytem... what is your proposal for a better one?

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

Let me get this straight.

First, with 2/3 of the 75 seats in Quebec, a sixth of the seats in Parliament overall, and the support of just over one in ten voters in Canada based on the popular vote, you seriously believe that the separatist Bloc Quebecois represents one in four Canadians?

Second, you also believe that anyone taking issue with such a political movement trying to dictate the role of the Canadian military to the rest of the country is full of "sour grapes"?

At 1:58 PM, Blogger Bobcaygeon said...

As your numbers point out, the Bloc could not bring down the government on its own, so surely if they were to bring the gov't down on the grounds of the war, there would be others who have to support them in doing so - thus the 1 in 10 point would not fly, and current polling also suggests growing opposition to the Afghan mission.

And surely you have no problem with toppling governments since that's precisely how the current gov, and the party you voted for, came to power.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Bobcaygeon said...

By the by, as drole as your cartoon of the day is, it would be hard to be tapping Princess Die on the same day as the USS Cole Bombing given that the she died three years before the Cole was attacked. ;-)

Ah the right... you try so hard... but your even your jokes are unsupported by fact...

At 3:21 PM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

... why do I even bother ...

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Greenchief said...

Hambone ... equating government wiretapping of Princess Di (if true) to trampling on the rights of its own citizens through the guise of the WoT is a little bit of stretch, to say the least.

Also got to weigh in on a pet cause of yours that's offensive, to say the least. Namely, limiting the rights of lesbians/gays to raise children.

Dobson says it's in the best interest of society to have a mommy and a daddy raising junior. Sure it is, no one could argue otherwise.

It's also in the best interests of society to have everybody fully employed, to have no national debt, and for the world to co-exist in peace and tranquility. It's also a utopian pipe dream.

If Focus on the Family, et al., really want to make better homes for kids growing up, shouldn't they be spending their resources on rebuilding traditional marriage? I'm not sure what the current divorce rates are at, but I think it's around 45% in the U.S. Based on this, one could make a pretty good argument that traditional marriage is broken. There are undeniably more kids suffering from broken (hetero) homes than ones living with same-sex parents.

It would also be safe to say that more kids live in single mom homes due to the fact that their fathers have lost their lives in various wars, international disputes, and as a result of gun violenece (particularly in the U.S.). Couldn't this organization achieve better results by addressing those issues rather than railing against the minority of same sex couples who want kids?

But the crux of this whole article shines through at the end ... "Traditional marriage is God's design for the family and is rooted in biblical truth." Well, how could any reasonable person disput an argument such as this?

Ah yes, the old "it's God's plan to have a man and a woman married so they can re-create" argument. I guess then by that logic, hetero couples not wanting to, or unable to bear children have no right to get married (although this isn't explicitly stated in this article, I've heard it countless times from social conservatives).

But really, most offensive about this article and this school of thought is the suggestion that homosexual couples can't raise kids properly. I have many lesbian friends, some of whom want to have children. And reading about these social conservatives judging their inherent abilities as potential parents is sickening. To hear that they are less fit to be parents than the average hetero couple is so off the mark. To call it a "social experiment" is equally demeaning. And really, isn't traditional marriage a social experiment that's just been going on for a longer time? It's an argument disguised in reason that is nothing more than intolerance.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

I'd like to see a little tolerance directed towards those who think that fatherhood and motherhood matter and aren't afraid to say so, for a change.

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Greenchief said...

No one's disputing fatherhood and motherhood matter, as I stated (and considering the fact that my wife is going to give birth shortly, I'd say that's a pretty strong endorsement).

It pisses me off that so-cons suggest some of my good friends don't have the right and/or are unable to be good parents due to their sexual orientation.

It's a lot more about life skills, morals, and responsibility than it is about homo/hetero. See all the f'ed up "traditional" families.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

Can't argue with you on the point that a lot of hetero families basically suck (see Spears, Britney and Federline, Kevin for an excellent example) and that there are a lot of stand-up family structures that don't resemble the traditional one.

The deeper question is, what should we aspire to as a society?

There are some structures which are more ideal than others, in my humble point of view. I think that's a perfectly reasonable observation and opinion to hold. The impact of gender differences on parenting is a tremendously important subject and I don't think pointing that out necessarily demonstrates one's bigotry, hate or intolerance.

For a thoughtful and nuanced look at this issue, readers can see here and scroll to the bottom of the page, if they can put aside the fact that the author is both a person of faith and a contributor to Fox News.

(I point that out because I know in some otherwise "tolerant" quarters, either one of those taken individually are reason enough not to bother listening.)


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