a conservative heretic commenting on hypocrisy and stupidity in a world with too much of both
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Monthly Archives: September 2012

A President’s Words. A President’s Actions

“…true democracy – real freedom – is hard work.”
-President Barack Obama

 

On September 11, 2012, violence directed against American diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya erupted without warning or at least, that was the official position of the Obama administration. It is now clear that there was not only reason to anticipate something happening on the anniversary of 9/11 but there were warnings as much as 48 hours in advance.

Four Americans, including the American ambassador to Libya were killed; an unnecessary loss of life due to nothing more than careless indifference to the safety of diplomatic staff in this troubled region.

On September 11, there was no statement from the White House regarding the attacks and indeed, later in the evening while appearing on the David Letterman Show, the President was mute about what was happening in North Africa and the Middle East. Mitt Romney spoke out against this silence and was criticized by the administration and the mainstream media for politicizing the issue.

Politicizing the issue?

I think there has been a great deal of politicizing of this issue but it hasn’t come from Mitt Romney or his campaign. Continue reading

The Not Quite Knute Rockne Moment Of The Romney Campaign

“Play like you’re positive on the victory, even though
they’re leading big now.”
– Knute Rockne

In sport, the coach usually has an inspirational talk with his team before sending them out on the field. Typically, he and his assistant coaches have also spent more than just a bit of time pumping up the media and fans before the big game.

In that vein, this letter has been sent to the mainstream media and other interested parties by the Mitt Romney campaign in advance of the first Presidential debate. Give it a read and then we’ll chat. Continue reading

The Gospel Of The Clueless

“There is an almost universal quest for easy answers
and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people
more than having to think.
– Martin Luther King

Do you get the feeling lately that there aren’t very many people paying much attention these days? I don’t mean paying attention to an individual issue, I mean paying attention period. Everywhere I go whether it is online or in the real world, I run into people who are so lost in their own little time and place they are completely oblivious to what is going on around them.

I was downtown the other day, stopped at a red light. A nicely dressed man, about forty, crossed the intersection in front of me with his finger buried up his nose. I can understand people in their cars forgetting that their windows are actually two-way glass and indulging in a little nasal mining but out on the street?

He struck gold and hauled it out of his nose to take a good look at it in the middle of the intersection, pausing to hold his finger up to seriously examine his find. What in God’s name could anyone possibly have up their nose that they would want to examine it? Were they expecting that this one time, whatever it is would be different than the hundreds of times before?

It’s incredible. People are completely tuned out. Continue reading

With The Thanks Of A Grateful Nation

War. Nobody likes it, least of all the people who have to go and fight but go they do. Most go because they consider it their duty to serve their country. Some never return from war, some return wounded. All who survive and who do return come home changed by the sheer brutality of the experience.

Canada’s military brass and the government talk a good talk about the courage and dedication of the men and women who serve in our armed forces. They show up to greet returning coffins and even named a stretch of highway for the fallen, calling it the Highway of Heroes.

How nice.

What they don’t do is treat returning veterans with the respect and gratitude to which they are entitled after having risked their lives in defense of what these same politicians felt was important. Continue reading

A Democracy of Trivial Pursuit

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
about things that matter.” 
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some days it is difficult to believe that thousands of men and women have given their lives to protect the freedoms and rights we have. Day after day during various election campaigns, I watch pointless polarized arguments over trivial minutia rather than serious debate about the real issues that we face and that are of concern to us all.

The mainstream and social media become aflame with opinion, most of which is unencumbered by something as inconvenient as facts or analytical thinking. It is noise and buzz and chatter that is passed along as if it actually meant something.

It doesn’t!

The presidential election in the United States will cost upwards of $10 billion and has already consumed the better part of a year. It is an obscene expenditure and parody of democracy and for all that time and expense, what have we really learned? Continue reading

Monster Truck Jam – Everything Is Better When The Wheels Come Off

I have some things on my mind and will probably get around to ranting about them in the next day or two but yesterday, Maggie and I went to a very special event that helps keep things in perspective.

It was our grandson, Ben’s, third birthday party.

His mom asked him if he would like a party and he said yes. She then asked if he would like to have a party with his friends or with his grandparents and his aunts and uncles but Ben’s no fool. He opted for the second. Big people bring bigger gifts.

And gifts he received.

Ben is Monster Truck crazy, so mom and dad gave him a Monster Truck slide complete with all the most popular Monster Trucks from the circuit. He was also given electronic reader kind of thing that reads stories out loud and which highlights each word on a digital screen to help him learn to read and spell.

He received a Hot Wheels race set for the bath, NHL clothes of his favourite team and a remote control Monster truck.

Maggie and I thought we were quite clever. We had picked up a small, hand-made train in Paris with a locomotive pulling individual cars, each of which carried one of the letters that spells out his full name.

Maggie’s family is originally from The Netherlands and we have some Dutch stuff around the house, including Ben-size wooden shoes which have fascinated him since he learned to walk, so we picked him up a pair of slippers shaped like wooden shoes and, of course, the inevitable race car set. We tried to cover all the bases.

So what were the hits of the day? Continue reading