Saturday, December 13, 2008

Conservatives Tried Subprime

I guess we're just fortunate that we had a Liberal government for all those years that the Americans were desperately trying to loot their economy for the sake of the rich. While they were setting up mortgages to people who had no business having mortgages, we had a Liberal government that wasn't letting that happen in Canada.

We did manage to get a Conservative government in 2006 and they did their best to completely ruin our economy, but it was too little too late. The subprime bubble was already bursting and, try as they might, Harper and Flaherty couldn't quite get us in to the disaster.

They did their best by creating 40-year, no-money-down mortgages, but they had to cancel that offering when it became obvious how disastrous the long term effects were.

But make no mistake about it. Leaving Conservatives in charge of our economy is a disaster. They'll sell everything off so they can give tax cuts to wealthy people. They'll run up massive, unnecessary debt.

And if they had their way, they'd have dumped our economy straight in to the drain to create huge, fake economic booms for the sake of their banking friends.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Harper v. Ignatieff

I don't like either. Let me say that at the outset.

Harper is a frightening bully even when he has a minority. I can't imagine what he would do to this country if he had a majority. How many wars do you want to fight attached to the dying embers of the bankrupt American Empire? How much debt do you want to find this country in while he shovels money not to medicine but to wealthy corporations and party contributors? How much torture will our nation condone?

I want none of it.

Ignatieff, meanwhile, has his own concerns. He strikes me somewhat as an American style Democrat. His platform will be slightly smaller tax cuts for the wealthy, slightly more money for healthcare. It won't be great, but you'll have to say to yourself, "Well, it's better than that other guy and at least his party won't try to make church attendance mandatory".

Ignatieff, like Harper, supported the war in Iraq. If either had been Prime Minister at the time of the U.S. invasion, Canadians might still be dying in that country. It's bad enough they're dying in Afghanistan. One hundred have given their lives for a battle we will eventually have to decide we can't win. But with Harper or Ignatieff in command, they'd be dying in Iraq too.

There is, however, one major difference between the two featured here in an article about the recent fiscal update in which Harper tried to defund his opponents. No, it's not the "reaching out" bit. That's a scam and we all know it. It's this bit:
But Mr. Harper refused to accept any blame for causing the recent political crisis, or admit that controversial measures in his fiscal update were a mistake.

Instead, he said there was a conspiracy by opposition leaders to bring down his government regardless of what was in update.

That's right. The Prime Minister saw weakness and attempted to obliterate the other parties by bankrupting them, knowing his own wealthy donors would keep his boat floating as long as he keeps the tax cuts coming. When that triggered a revolt in Parliament, he took the measures away and yet took no responsibility for the galvanizing effect his cruelty had caused.

Compare and contrast, as my English teacher used to say. This is from an article Ignatieff wrote in the New York Times regarding his support for the invasion of Iraq.
"The unfolding catastrophe in Iraq has condemned the political judgment of a president, but it has also condemned the judgment of many others, myself included, who as commentators supported the invasion."

Unfortunately you'll find, if you read his apology in depth, that he feels the mistake he made was in underestimating the cost of the invasion, not in the fact that there was no legitimate reason for any kind of invasion in the first place. This makes him no better or worse than Harper in that respect.

And yet, at the same time, therein lies the difference.

Ignatieff can admit that he made a mistake. Harper can not.

If I have to choose between two ivory tower, American Empire supporting jackasses, I'll take the one who has shown at least a tendency toward teachability.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Vatican: Bait and Switch on Gayness

A resolution has been introduced at the United Nations to ask all member states to decriminalize homosexuality.

The relevant portion of the text is very simple. It reads:
We ask the Human Rights Council to request a universal abolition of the so-called "crime of homosexuality", of all "sodomy laws", and laws against so-called "unnatural acts" in all the countries where they still exist.

What it means is: stop killing and imprisoning people for consensual sex acts.

Nothing complicated or objectionable, unless you're the pope, in which case it's the beginning of a slide in to damnation. Then you're afraid that this would:
"add new categories of those protected from discrimination"

Yes. That's the whole point. We want to stop discrimination - especially the kind where you kill someone for being different. We hate to have to drag you all the way up to the middle of the 20th century, but the whole world is moving toward "not killing people for being different."

Also, this resolution:
could lead to the decline of heterosexual marriage

Yes, that's the whole point. We want to stop having sham heterosexual marriages because one of the partners is entering it under duress to cover up for the "crime" of having homosexual tendencies. Those are the only marriages that could cause a "decline". Is that what you're worried about? People around the world won't be making themselves miserable in order to follow your doctrine?

Now we come to the bait and switch. Now the Vatican, the pope and their spokesman, will outright lie and attribute to the resolution things which are plainly not in it.
... states which do not recognize same-sex unions as 'matrimony' will be pilloried and made an object of pressure

Read the resolution. Where does it say this? All that is says is stop treating gays like criminals. It's not a long resolution. It's not like you could have misread something.

No, pope, you are your followers are just lying. But that's nothing special for your bunch, is it? Why don't you just go back to shuffling around the pedophiles you shelter, nurture and create? That's about your level.

There is nothing in this resolution that would harm anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together. The only ones harmed are those who will have to deal with the fact that homosexuals exist and that the rest of us are no longer able to pretend they don't exist by having them jailed or killed.

As for the rest, it's typical right wing fear mongering, trying to convince you that a law or resolution against discrimination is somehow going to force gay marriages upon their churches or anal sex upon their sons.

h/t to Canuck Attitude.

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