Friday, June 27, 2008

Free Market Pickup Trucks

The next time someone tells you that the free market will take care of everything, you can always point this article where the following statement is made:

Chrysler announced last November that it will slash production this year, but has insisted it will plow[sic] ahead with a redesign of its Dodge Ram pickup and has not adjusted production to deal with the recent slide in the U.S. market.

Are you watching? Are you paying attention? Gas in the United States is predicted to go to $7. Chrysler is scaling back SUV production. But they're still going ahead with a redesign of a pickup truck.

Why, why, why? They're stuck in the mentality of making lots of money off of giant vehicles. If, they surmise, they could only build an even bigger truck with an even larger engine, then they could save the whole business.

That's why we have governments. That's why governments should be making laws, not just to protect the environment, but to protect the auto worker jobs that we've subsidized and nurtured for so long from the stupidity of the monotone droning of the people who run the auto manufacturing companies.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Who is fit to run my country?

I've never been fond of the Conservative party. If "Conservative" meant preserving our institutions and balancing our finances, I might find common ground with them. But Ernie Eves and Mike Harris never once balanced a budget and meanwhile attempted to destroy one the great democratizers in our country: public education.

The Liberals ought to be a reasonable bunch. They match progressive social ideas against the creationist, anti-gay agenda of the Conservatives. Unfortunately, they've got a bunch of pro-Iraq war ministers. They were the ones who took us in to Afghanistan and if this map is correct, most of our Canadian soldiers are coincidentally dying where the T.A.P.I. pipeline is going.

So I don't trust either the Liberals or the Conservatives. Both are mired in the pro-war, anti-peacekeeping, big business rules model of governing.

Neither do I like Jack Layton. As much as the NDP are speaking about Afghanistan, they aren't willing to speak the truth about the misuse of soldiers there or in Haiti. If you're not going to stand for the principles of peace and non-aggression, why should I trust you? While they are certainly the least of three evils, they don't seem to have the courage of their convictions.

In the meantime, we're just barely starting to work on getting Omar Khadr out of that hellhole at Gitmo. Abdelrazik is still stuck in the Canadian Embassy in the Sudan because we won't let him sign the affidavit that's just down the hall from him. And while we did eventually get Maher Arar returned to us, he was still tortured incessantly, and apparently with a wink and a nod from our government.

None of these parties or leaders deserve our trust. None of them stand up for the things in which we believe. None of deserve to be running our country.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Again with the Torture?

Are we still doing this stuff?

I became disillusioned with our string of governments a long time ago - sometime between the invasion of Haiti and the discovery that exactly one Canadian remains on duty in Cyprus - but this is getting exceedingly stupid.

We're not doing anything to set Omar Khadr free from his detention in Gitmo, even though he was a 15-year-old brainwashed child soldier.

We let Maher Arar get beaten in Syria.

And now are coming out the allegations that another Canadian man, Abousfian Abdelrazik, holding dual citizenship in Sudan, was ferreted out by Canadian authorities and captured and tortured in Sudan. The allegations even include that agents of the Canadian government were in Sudan, questioning him, knowing that he was being tortured.

Is this what has become of my country?

I'm embarrassed.

When can we change the government again? And to whom should we hand the reins?

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Absolute Lunacy and Feminism

I was pretty confident that 1980s style feminism had died a thorough death. Nobody yells at anybody for holding doors open or stupid things like that. You don't see the style of the old "Take Back the Night" march where men are excluded and generally pointed at and accused of rape along the parade route. And, furthermore, there was no feminist defense of Janet Jackson when someone ought to have noticed that - at least superficially - she was the victim.

So it surprises me when I run across apparently recent postings where the conservative lunatic fringe is still getting angry about feminists charging all men with rape. (I'm guessing virgin males are innocent, but I don't see a specific exception). The evidence that feminists accuse all men of being rapists consists of posts like this wherein we have a list - basically - of specific non-exceptions to the rule that sex must be consensual.

But my goodness, the vitriol that comes flying out of the mouths of these anti-feminists. All women, apparently, are happier when men are controlling them. Men are happier that way, too. In fact, if men don't have a woman to control, they are useless. The tools of socialism - which I always thought liberated women by taking away the traditional yoke of stay-at-home motherhood - are actually taking away her freedom to ... um ... do whatever her husband wants. Or something like that. I honestly have trouble making sense of it.

The sum total seems to be that these people - some of them women - seem to believe that "womanhood" and "femininity" have some a priori definition which only they know. That definition involves being happily ensconced in a very traditional style of marriage - sometimes apparently not even choosing their husbands (?).

And here I thought women want freedom from being the mandatory brood mares of the state and church, but I guess I was wrong.

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