26/03/2010

Who the Hell is Ann Coulter Anyway?


With all the media attention she has gotten these last few days I, like a lot of Canadians, have been asking myself, "So, who the hell is Ann Coulter anyway?" I didn't have to look very far.

The reason I didn't know is most likely that I don't watch much television and if I did turn the set on, I just can't stomach that right wing American political vitriol.

I'm not sure what is gained by making a big fuss about what Coulter and people like her have to say. Frankly they thrive of people who disagree with them.

What the hell, I say a lot of nasty things about Harper and his gang and no one pickets my house, at least so far, so why not go the free speech route. Let her spout off. The young Conservative supporters that brought her into this country just encourage the rest of us to take a closer look at who the right is in this country anyway. Most Canadians feel uncomfortable with what she has to say anyway.

Have a look at some of the things she spouts off about. All these quotes are from speeches, her websites, articles she has written and interviews she has given.

She doesn't like Episcopalians much. I can't imagine how she'd feel about the United Church of Canada "The Episcopals don't demand much in the way of actual religious belief. They have girl priests, gay priests, gay marriages. It's much like the New York Times editorial board. They acknowledge the ten commandments, or Moses' talking points but hasten to add that they aren't exactly carved in stone."

If we thought she didn't like moderate Christians what to hear what she thinks about those who follow Islam. "Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenants of Christianity as opposed to other religions whose tenants are more along the lines of 'kill everyone who doesn't smell bad and who answers to the name of Mohammed."
"I think our motto should be, post 911, 'raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences" "Not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslim"
"I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to Guantanamo."

"Six imans removed from a US Airways flight to Phoenix are calling on Muslims to boycott the airline. If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether"

Although she doesn't mind making a few bucks from a speaking tour up here she doesn't much like Canada. "Canadians better hope the United States doesn't roll over some night and crush them. They are lucky we allow her to exist on the same continent."
"It confirms my idea that you also need more liberal gun laws. Guns lead to a polite society, as we say in the United States. And I think that all of Western Canada would agree with me."

I think the real question is how does this government justify letting someone like Coulter into our country to spread hate all the while denying entry to the British MP Galloway, who may be as much as a wingnut from the other side.

I guess to the Harper government thinks, right wing hate mongers are part of the A team.

23/03/2010

Now Here is an Idea


My friend John Deverell suggests that what this country needs is an electoral alliance consisting of the Liberals, the New Democrats and the Greens. I think he is right.

A coalition and an agreement not to split the vote would give us a Liberal/NDP/Green majority in Parliament. Working together, that coalition party could, through electoral reform guarantee every Canadian citizen an equal effective vote and equal representation in Parliament for all future elections.

Once the system is fixed, the various parties could go their own ways in the next election should they choose or, they might find it works so well that they’ll stay where they are.

He suggests that the price the Liberal Party would have to pay is to allow Canada to become a democracy and asks, “Is that a price Liberals are ready and willing to pay?” I wonder.

It is an idea to think about. As unlikely as it sounds, the threat of a Conservative phony majority might just prompt our party leaders to look a bit past their own noses.

Canadians would benefit.

Harper Supports Canadian Asbestos Sales Oversees

Sierra Club Canada is joining with the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Medical Association, the World Health Organization, other environmental and health organizations and many concerned Canadians in calling for an end to government funding of the asbestos lobby group the Chrysotile Institute. While Stephen Harper's government is cutting funds from women's groups and aboriginal healing programs, they will be providing $250,000.00 of taxpayers' money to fund an asbestos lobby group.

The use of most asbestos products is illegal in Canada. Canadian authorities say the product is simply too dangerous to our health for us to use. The material is still mined about 100 km south of Quebec City.

This Chrysotile Institute promotes asbestos in developing countries, telling them it can be safely used. Health authorities say the Institute's information is dangerous and false and will lead to an epidemic of asbestos disease and death in the developing world where it is sold.

Last week Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources and MP for the asbestos mining region of Qu├ębec, appeared before the Standing Committee on Natural Resources to defend the industry and the Conservative government decision to fund the lobby group.

Come on Harper, give your head a shake. This is all a bit beyond the pale isn't it. Will you go to any length to buy a few votes in this riding.

Do You Feel Conned Yet?


No doubt most of you who follow Canadian Communications news have seen that the CRTC sided with the broadcasters, at least sort of. Over the years most of us have learned not to expect anything definitive from the regulator.

The broadcasters, all except the for CBC that perhaps most needs the money, can now charge the cable/satellite companies for carrying their signal. The regulator did not say how much they could charge. That would be expecting too much. So now the broadcasters and the cable companies will fight that out, in what no doubt will be a very public negotiations. What ever the result of that process is, the cost will be passed on to you and I.

In commenting on their decision the chair of the CRTC showed just how out of touch he, and presumably the Commission is by suggesting, that the cable companies should be wary about passing on fees, because consumers have a choice. They can get the signal for free simply by putting up an antenna. Don't expect a forest of antennas to spring up in your neighborhood any time soon. The average TV watcher is not about to trade his/her 100 channel universe for three or four, low quality, off air signals.

Now most Canadians who have been subjected to months and months of print and television advertising by both sides in this dispute might think, after watching the ads bought and paid for by that coalition of broadcasters, that we will now see a rejuvenated local programing schedule. How could we forget "Local TV Matters." Well, don't hold your breath. They just wanted you to think that they cared. The broadcasters gave up any real commitment to local programming years ago.

Do you feel conned. Well you should.