Still Separate, Still Unequal

   29 August 2005, early morning

“Dear Mr. Kozol,” wrote the eight-year-old, “we do not have the things you have. You have Clean things. We do not have. You have a clean bathroom. We do not have that. You have Parks and we do not have Parks. You have all the thing and we do not have all the thing. Can you help us?”

Jonothan Kozol writes about the absolutely appalling conditions of inner city schools in a great article in the September issue of Harper’s. It sounds like the education of inner-city black and Hispanic children in the United States is in a sorry state. Kozol describes schools run almost like factories or prisons in grim detail. According to Kozol, US Schools are quite quickly becoming functionally segregated. Kozol lists the demographics of a slew of public schools in the states, named after prominent civil rights activists, whose classrooms are upwards of 97% black and Hispanic — in some cases despite being in neighbourhoods that are predominantly white. It has been over 50 years since Brown vs. Board of Education. It is sad to read about the state of things today.

Update: I was reminded of this article again when reading an article by Steve Sailer.

Comment [1] |  

None Dare Call It Stolen

   29 July 2005, lunch time

A forum was held to discuss the voting ‘irregularities’ in Ohio during the last election. This months Harper’s has a great article on the subject written by Mark Crispin Miller. A summary and discussion of the article is taking place at Democratic Underground. It’s almost embarrassing how corrupt the Republican party is.

update: The article is online now: None Dare Call it Stolen.

Comment [1] |  

Zahra Kazemi

   12 July 2005, late at night

A man handing out flyers at a vigil for Zahra Kazemi

I watched briefly as a group of Iranians sang songs and remembered the photographer Zahra Kazemi. Today marked the 2-year anniversary of her death. There is no mention of this, or anything else to do with Kazemi, in any of Toronto’s three major papers. This is probably because in two years basically nothing has changed with respect to this case. Two years is a pretty long time.

There was a handful of people out for the vigil. I didn’t stay long; it struck me as something organized by a small subset of the Iranian community for the Iranian community. It is a shame there seems to be very little interest in keeping this story alive outside the Persian community. People would walk by, take a flyer, and leave. That said, it is also a shame that the one group who organized a vigil did very little to promote it outside their own community. A Canadian national was tortured, raped, and killed in a foreign country—the fact that she was Iranian should really be secondary. This is something that every Canadian should feel effected by.

The sad thing is, as long as the government of Iran remains unchanged, I don’t see this case ever being resovled. I am not sure what Canada really can do in this matter. What sort of political pressure can a country such as ours exert on Iran, which has spent the past 20 years telling super powers to go fuck themselves? Still, on a day like today, some righteous indignation from an elected leader would be nice.

Comment [1] |  

Perhaps Hindu leaders should lighten up

    2 July 2005, late morning

Perhaps Hindu leaders should lighten up, says DiManno. Perhaps DiManno should work harder at not sounding like a bigot as she writes about the controversy surrounding the Bollywood Cowboy event held in Toronto.

The thing is, I don’t actually think Bollywood Cowboy was such a big deal, since it seems obvious that ACT were just totally ignorant about most everything. Now, the fact they somehow think Bollywood and Hinduism have anything to do with each other is sad, but hardly something to raise a furor about—especially since it is a good cause they are working to help.

That said, there are people much more religious than me who don’t want to see Hindu gods turned into pop icons. Everything DiManno is ranting about seems to miss the point of the Hindu communities complaints. To pretend Catholics wouldn’t object to a Sexed-Up Space-Pirate Jesus is wishful thinking. More so, even she doesn’t seem to realize that Bollywood and Hinduism having nothing to do with one another—besides the fact that those god damn brown people are involved with both. Worse yet, her generalization of the community at large is disingenuous. She goes so far as to suggest the Hindu community is full of bigoted backwards homophobe zealots. Maybe she gets her memos from the Conservative Party of Canada.

”[Bollywood Cowboy] demonstrated a callous disregard for non-European values and beliefs.” To which DiManno replies, “Oh please.”

Well, that’s certainly a tough argument to rebuke.

Suck it up Pakis!

Comment [8] |  

Police Assault On Pride Weekend

    2 July 2005, the wee hours

Bill Blair, our new police chief, made some history last Sunday by being the first Toronto police chief to participate in the Gay Pride Parade. Although it isn’t such a big deal in the grand scheme of things, I thought that was quite impressive. I can’t even picture the old police chief, Fantino, watching the Pride Parade. Blair seems to be making an effort to change the public perception of the police. I think Blair can do it, but he has his work cut out for him. The day before the Pride Parade, Amir Ebrahimnia, who runs the popular martini bar Babylon on Church St, had his bar shut down for over-crowding. Once the place was cleared out, the cops proceeded to beat the shit out of the man. (Dave found this story, which I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere else. It strikes me as newsworthy.)

Update: Even Dave finds him self doubting the authenticity of this story. As far as I can tell, the only reports of this story all link back to the article I linked to here. There is no new information on the internet about this attack, besides the original article. It seems shady. Nevertheless, it’d be nice if some journalist looked into this.

Update: The article is getting a lot more play. BlogTO is now discussing it, though they link to a thread elsewhere on the net. My doubts about the story are growing. This seems like the sort of scandal that you would like to think is hard to cover up. If this is true—which is very well might be, the police force in Toronto has a pretty bad history when it comes to dealing with the gay community—then it says a lot that this story can go for so long without getting any sort of attention from the press.

Comment [6] |  

Canada has legalized same-sex marriage.

   29 June 2005, late evening

We’re a nation of minorities and in a nation of minorities you don’t cherry-pick rights.

Or so says Paul Martin. It is now legal to get married to the boy of your dreams in Canada—even if you yourself are a boy. Canada has legalized same-sex marriage. We now have to wait and see how what the public response to this law will be. I don’t think this is actually as big an issue in Canada as it has been made out to be. However, I also don’t know if it would have succeeded were it put to a public vote through a referendum. I think there will be some opposition to this law; after all, there are bigots everywhere—even in Canada. Maybe, if we hope and pray, they’ll all move down South.

Comment [6]  

Inside the Mind of an Iraqi Suicide Bomber

   27 June 2005, mid-afternoon

Reading Dinu’s site I found a very interesting interview with an Iraqi suicide bomber: Inside the Mind of an Iraqi Suicide Bomber. I’m always amazed at the things people can do and rationalize in the name of religion. It is scary, though not surprising, that the suicide bomber had to wait almost half a year to get on the list of suicide bomber volunteers; the article isn’t completely clear why, though the implication seems to be because the list is so long. It should also come as no surprise that the occupation, as well as the influx of Mujahedeen from neighboring countries, is also helping to fill the ranks of the insurgency. Rumsfeld has said he expects the insurgency to go on for years. I think ultimately Iraq will go the way of Viet Nam; it will be a horrible debacle for the US, which will leave Iraq scarred for years to come.

Comment [1] |  

Life Everlasting

   11 April 2005, early afternoon

In contrast, the wisdom of the right consists of knowing how to take its absolutes just far enough, which is to say never so far as to relinquish the prerogatives of wealth and power. The achievement amounts to an ethical sleight of hand. You work the trick by shifting the domain of moral absolutes to those areas of life where they least apply. You treat the gray areas of human existence as though they were black and white, the better to disguise one’s self-interested smudging of black and white to gray. You erect castles of rectitude on the frontiers of mortality in the hopes that the murder and rapine taking place in the town squares can go on undisturbed. You accept the death of a six-year-old child by aerial bombardment or economic sanctions and defend the life of a six-week-old fetus. Think of it as taking the high road in Lilliput.

The Feburary 2005 issue of Harper’s had a great article on physician assisted suicide and the right to die: Life Everlasting: The religious right and the right to die by Garret Keizer. The article examines the current assisted suicide debate taking place in America today. There is a lot of interesting material, so I would recommend you check the article out. I wasn’t even aware that in addition to Belgium and The Netherlands, Oregon of all places allows for physician assisted suicide. The above quote comes from the article, though I think it stands well on it’s own. I probably like the quote because it echoes my own sentiments when it comes to the right-wing, put down with more eloquence than I can muster. My opinions on the right are no secret, so I’ll leave that point alone. There is no shortage of great quotes in the article:

It is a well-known statistic that with less than 5 percent of the world’s population, Americans consume a quarter of the world’s nonrenewable energy. It is considerably less well-known that within that all-consuming sliver, per capita federal spending on the elderly exceeds the amount spent on children by a ratio of 11 to 1. When I was younger and more romantic I could imagine serving the poor by dying in a revolution. Now it seems as though the most truly revolutionary thing I could do is simply to die.

Comment [2]  

After the Election

    6 April 2005, lunch time

The presumption in postwar Bosnia—as well as occupied Iraq—was that elections create democratic culture. Yet elections are the result of democratic culture, not the catalyst for it.

After the Election , by Nir Rosen, examines the result of Iraq’s recent election. Many people touted the elections in Iraq as a success for democracy. Rosen asks the question, “Were they?”, and decides that, “No, they were not.” In his opinion, forcing national elections on the people accomplished nothing, and may have actually made the situation on the ground worse. He argues the elections only served to divide the country further along ethnic lines. With no campaigning to speak of, no debates, no party platforms, and in most cases totally anonymous party leaders, people simply voted for the party that represented their ethnic or religious group. It should come as no surprise that the Shiite coalition got the most votes, the Kurds the second most. The problem here is that majority rules hardly makes for a good democracy. At some point elements of liberalism must enter the picture or you end up with a ochlocracy. You need only look to Sri Lanka to see the problems a simplistic populist democracy produces.

The article is in the April issue of Harper’s, which has been quite good. The magazine is probably contributing to my recent spat of leftist ramblings and links. Harper’s may at some point put the article above online, but if you have a few bucks left over this month, I think this months issue is pretty solid. There is a great essay on Democracy and Populism, and another great article on farming in Cuba.

Comment [3]  

Social Security

    5 April 2005, early afternoon

As you may or may not know, the current president is no fan of Social Security. Bush-Co want to replace it with some sort “invest your own moneys in the stock market” scheme. Bush wants to dump pension payments directly in to the stock market. It’ll be beautiful he tells the American people. The stock market is where people go to get rich. Everyone will be rich. Frankly, it all sounds foolish to me. Of course, I’m probably over simplyfying his actual plan.

The feature article in Harper’s this month discusses this very issue:

The one sure mark of a con, though, is the promise of free money. In fact, the only way the stock market is going to grow is if we the people put a lot more of our money into it. What Bush seeks to manufacture is a boom—or, more accurately, a bubble—bankrolled by the last safe pile of cash in America today. His plan is a Ponzi scheme, and in that scheme it is Social Security that is being played for the last sucker.

And, you don’t even need to subscribe to the magazine to enjoy the article: The $4.7 Trillion Pyramid

Comment [4]  

Doctor reveals what happened to Zahra Kazemi.

   31 March 2005, early morning

The Globe and Mail has published a doctors account of the death of Canadian/Iranian photographer Zahra Kazemi. It’s sickening to say the least. CBC has picked up the story, but has not updated their in-depth section yet. I am sure her son was well aware her death was no accident, but could he have imagined just how gruesome the details surrounding her death would turn out to be. What the doctor describes is disgusting. Her family has my sympathy.

Comment [3]  

Our Dreams Don't Fit On Your Ballot

   24 March 2005, evening time

I watched the Take, a documentary by former counterSpin host Avi Lewis, on the CBC today. The documentary examines what happened to Argentina after the west grabbed all the cash and ran. It’s amazing to see all these unemployed workers expropriate their closed factories and get them up and running again. This is communism from the bottom up. Fuck yeah.

Comment [3] |  

Tying the Knot

   13 February 2005, the wee hours

Stephen Harper, leader of Canada’s opposition party, in a clever bid to win seats in Toronto, decided he would place ads in the community newspapers of various ethnic groups within the city. My father saw them in the Tamil and Indian papers that he reads. What was in these ads? Something about how Harper wants to protect traditional marriage.

Ah yes, traditional marriage. You know, where women are property and interracial couples can’t tie the knot. I long for those simpler times as well. They sure were simple, weren’t they? I’m glad Harper is rallying behind this cause; I’m sure he’ll do great in the next election. Everyone loves a bigot, especially the ethnic community. But will my fellow Tamils see it like that? I’d like to think so, but sometimes I have my doubts.

I watched Tying the Knot tonight. It’s a documentary about the problems faced by homosexuals when they are denied their right to get married. The documentary was quite good, and really brings to light the injustice that comes about from denying gays the right to marry. The movie is powerful because it puts a human face on this issue; the two main stories the director focuses on are quite sad. Gina once wrote that 1,049 federal rights in America depend on marriage, which I read at the time and thought was interesting, but didn’t really reflect on in any great detail. I used of this issue as a simple matter of equality, but there is more to it than that, it’s really a matter of dignity. A widow should not have to prove to anyone else, especially the state: that she deserves her spouses pension, that her spouse loved her, and that she would have wanted her to have it; It’s insulting.

By the summer, it should be legal on a federal level for homosexual couples to marry in Canada. Provincially, this is already the case in many parts of the country. This makes me happy; I’m glad I live in a country where the rights of minorities are upheld.

In matters of conscience, the Law of Majority has no place.—Mahatma Gandhi , 4th August 1920

Comment [9] |  

In Praise of Attrition

    7 January 2005, late at night

This article, In Praise of Attrition was in the December issue of Harper’s—well sort of anyway. Basically, Harpers just took sentances here and there from the essay and stuck them together to make a shorter essay. I wonder if they do this all the time in their ‘Readings’ section?

There is no indication that the essay they present in the magazine isn’t the essay I linked to here. Harper’s mentions in the magazine that their essay is ”... from In Praise of Attrition, by Ralph Peters…” as opposed to actually being In Praise of Attrition. Haper’s took bits and pieces throughout the essay to make a new one—that doesn’t sit right with me. I would think that if you are quoting from another work, which is really what Harper’s has done here, you would select some contiguous block of text as your shorter ‘essay’. There are no ’...’ to mark where text is missing; we are simply shown what looks to be a short essay on war. The essay Harper’s presents is the equivalent of a Hard Copy or Daily Show interview.

Mind you, both articles are fucked up. To sum up the essays, the military stratergy the US needs to adopt is: killing as many people in as violent a fashion as they can.

This essay does not suppose that warfare is simple: “Just go out and kill ’em.”

Trust me, it does. This essay is all about how killing is the only effective means in which to win a war. I suppose that should really be thought of as some sort of axiom of war.

Consider our enemies in the War on Terror. Men who believe, literally, that they are on a mission from God to destroy your civilization and who regard death as a promotion are not impressed by elegant maneuvers. You must find them, no matter how long it takes, then kill them. If they surrender, you must accord them their rights under the laws of war and international conventions. But, as we have learned so painfully from all the mindless, left-wing nonsense spouted about the prisoners at Guantanamo, you are much better off killing them before they have a chance to surrender.

This quote was cut from the Harper’s essay; the emphasis is mine.

comments [1] |  

No Referendum

   14 December 2004, early morning

Canada won’t have a referendum on same-sex marriage. I thought this quote in the Globe and Mail on the reasoning was quite good:

The idea met even stronger opposition from Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe and NDP Leader Jack Layton. Both argued it is wrong to subject minority rights to a majority vote in a referendum.

“We are speaking of rights. These must not be submitted to referenda,” Mr. Duceppe said. “A society has to be excessively vigilant of the rights of its minorities.”

PM rejects same-sex referendum by Campbell Clark

I also thought it was nice that even Stephen Harper, leader of Canada’s conservative party, has come out against the idea of a referendum on the matter.

John Stuart Mill used the term tyranny of the majority to refer to the idea above, subjecting a minority to the will of the majority.

The will of the people, moreover, practically means the will of the most numerous or the most active part of the people; the majority, or those who succeed in making themselves accepted as the majority; the people, consequently, may desire to oppress a part of their number; and precautions are as much needed against this as against any other abuse of power.

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

Comment [1]  

Behind the Cracks, Cracks Appear

   10 November 2004, late at night

Eric Meyer, of CSS fame, has posted his opinions on the election: Behind the Beauty, Cracks Appear. The article focuses primarily on the Gay marriage issue. I think this should be called Behind the Cracks, Cracks Appear. I think many Americans are in love with a country that only exists in their heads. Of course, I’m horribly anti-American, so you can take that with a grain of salt. But in all honesty, I don’t understand what people are clinging to. At some point you need to look around and ask yourself, “This is my home?”

Comment [24] |  

Election Postscript

    5 November 2004, lunch time

Here are what other people are saying; you know, people who live in America:

  • Not A Dollar Short Shows off a new Canada. I think I’d like this new Canada since I could finally visit New York. Seriously, why don’t some states just leave the US. Like California? It could go it alone.
  • A Whole Lotta Nothing [1] [2]
  • Scribbling [1] [2]
  • What Do I Know
  • 1976 Design [1] [2] The second post attempts to explain liberal anger to the crazies people that voted for Bush.
  • Greg Gnauss
  • Valdok
  • Reclaiming Reality A brand new site by a reader of this blog. This is his first entry.
  • Airbag discusses America as a police state and a flame war erupts.
  • Nedward
  • lets us know Americans are all stupid; Jason Kottke says what many of us around the world already knew. (And yes, I am quoting out of context. I’ll stop when CNN stops.)
  • Peace and Jellybeans. I found this post to be quite depressing.
  • Tom Tomorrow suggests reasons why the Democrats are big losers for Slate Magazine.
  • Jane Smiley expalins why the democrats should be in no rush to covet the Republican voting base.

I originally posted these links at the bottom of my post on the election, but I think they deserve there own entry. I don’t read too many (any) web sites where people are happy about the re-election of George Bush it would appear.

Comment [1] |  

Election Night 2004

    3 November 2004, lunch time

I wonder how much of the world is glued to their TVs waiting for the election results of the US. Incredible the effect one country can have on the rest of the planet. I’m heading to Matt’s now to watch the spectacle, and I’m quite sure it will be a spectacle.

update 12:13 AM: Matt’s party was fun; I got to watch the Daily Show. However, the election results are looking pretty grim so far. I am hoping things turn around, but it is looking like Bush the sequel right now. I don’t understand how Americans can vote for him again. Come on people!

update 12:30 AM: Thinking about it more, it’s actually quite disappointing. I’m hoping that some time soon the tides will turn in Kerry’s favour. But, even if they do, I can’t believe so much of the US is still in love with Bush. Even if you can’t get behind everything Kerry says and does, how can he not be better then Bush. I mean, honestly, how can anyone not be better then Bush. He’s like walking talking incompetence.

update 7:31 AM: I was quite disappointed last night; did it show? I think it did. I realized this morning that I shouldn’t be sad. Why? Because at the very least, I don’t live in the USA, I live in Canada, the greatest country in the world. There are lots of reasons Canada is the best thing since sliced bread, but I’ll just bring up the smallest reason: we do a pretty bang up job of counting all the votes in our elections in one night. It is quite impressive. Lets see if they figure things out by the end of the day, right now it is 254 vs. 252 with 3 states still counting.

update 8:42 AM: Also, to continue my shock and outrage, how many states voted to outlaw gay marriages outright? The only thing better then bigotry is institutionalized bigotry. Good on ya’.

update 12:07 PM: Well, Kerry has conceded. Four More Years! Four More Years! Four More Years! I need to get that on a T-Shirt. Well, maybe Four More Years? Or perhaps, Four More Fucking Years?.

Comment [14] |  

I Love a Good Speech

   30 July 2004, late at night

For the past few days I’ve been watching the Democratic National Convention whenever I have some free time. I was pretty impressed with all the speeches I heard during the convention. I suppose, liberal that I am, that isn’t much of an accomplishment.

I just watched Kerry’s speech tonight and thought it was great. I haven’t really heard him speak much, and since he is usually called a robot in the media, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I think he did a good job at presenting himself to America. Kerry was on Bush’s ass pretty hard in the speech, basically summing up what Micheal Moore expounds on in great detail in Fahrenheit 9/11. However, I would say all the not-so-subtle jabs at the current administration were done with tact. Well, except when he called out the Saudi royal family. I wish they had people behind Kerry giving gun shots at that point.

I find when I hear Kerry speak I want to believe everything he says. The cynic in me vanishes. I agree with all the positions he brought up in his speech. I get sucked in when he talks about taxing the rich and helping out the middle class, when he goes on about improving social security and health care, when he goes on about not trying to be the biggest ass-hole country on the planet. And I’m not even a damn American. I really want him to win in November. I can’t stress how much. Another 4 years of Bush would make me crazy. I don’t know how you people living in the US can wake up in the morning.

Now, Kerry’s speech was good, but I thought Al Sharpton’s was the best I heard. There is a passion to Sharpton that I find impressive. I think it may have something to do with him being a reverend. Apparently the speech he delivered was quite different then the one he said he would, running much longer then it should have. I missed Barack Obama’s speech, which I was told he delivered brilliantly. If you like speeches as much as I do, I recommend you check out American Rhetoric. The site features some of the best American speeches in history.

Comment [14] |  

Fair and Balanced

   20 July 2004, mid-morning

Fox News is exactly what is wrong with America. Bill O’Reilly is always fun to watch, because I honestly can’t figure out if he is acting or not. Many years ago, I was reading a transcript from an interview he did with a man, Jason Glick, whose father was killed in the 9/11 attack. Bill was unimpressed with the Jason’s position on the war on terrorism. Read more about Bill O’Reilly and make sure you watch the video at the bottom of the page. I’m fairly certain the video is from a documentary I have been dying to see called Outfoxed. Another documentary I really want to see is Control Room, which focuses on Al-Jezera.

Comment [1] |  

Vote! Do it Now!

   28 June 2004, early evening

Today is election day in Canada. There are 5 national parties running in this election today, the Liberals, the Conservatives, the New Democratic Party, the Bloc Québécois, and the new kid on the block, the Green Party. This is the first time the Green party has got a person to run in every single riding in Canada.

The system we have in Canada is a First Past the Post system, which is common to colonies of the United Kingdom. The flaw in a system such as this is that popular support doesn’t always translate into seats in the House of Commons. (This would be the case if you have numerous ridings where the results will be close.) Of course, the problem with a simple proportional system in a country such as Canada is that it would most likely lead to minority governments. Generally no party ever gets more then 50% of the popular support. The US on the other hand, with its two party system, is a ripe candidate for some form of proportional representation of votes.

This election may be interesting because there is no forced media blackout, results will be reported as they are tallied. So for the first time, people in British Columbia will know the results in all of Atlantic Canada, a few hours before their polls close. Mind you, with the internet, this was possible last election as well. I am curious to see if people in British Columbia will vote differently given this extra information.

I voted for the NDP, who will probably have no chance of winning in my riding. I just want them to at least have some reasonable numbers for popular support. I suggest you vote for the party you think will do the best job. I’m not a fan of voting strategically, it seems to go against to the whole idea of voting and democracy. In my riding Derek Lee is going to win. I’m calling it now, a few hours before the election results are out. This is the first time my vote isn’t totally wasted, since the popular support each party gets will get translated into funding for their campaigns in the next election.

Update 9:30 PM: I’ll post little things on my mind through out the night I think—well at least this one time. Average voter turn out in Canada has historically been 74% (with a standard deviation of 5.7) [source]. Turn out has been down for the past three elections, since 1988. I am wondering if the fact that this election is predicted to be so tight will bring out the voters.

Update 10:16 PM: The NDP are showing good numbers so far, and their share of the popular vote has risen a fair amount. It’s still quite early, the results of many polls have yet to be shown. I wouldn’t mind a coalition government with the Liberals and the NDP. We might get something a little more left leaning out of our government than we have seen in quite some time.

Update 11:42 PM: Thank you Jesus! It looks like the NDP and the Liberals will form a coalition government. I just heard Layton and Broadbent give their respective victory speeches. I can’t stress how happy I am to see this situation. I only hope that the Liberals and the NDP can successfully work together. The Liberals under Martin are a lot further from the left then one would expect a liberal party to be.

Update 2:20 AM: I may have spoke to soon, but I sincerely hope I haven’t. Apparently the NDP and Liberal numbers have dropped to the point where they may not be able to get a majority of the votes in the house.

Update 3:18 AM: Well, the official numbers are in. The final standing is:

Party Seats % of Votes
Lib 135 36.71%
Con 99 29.61%
BQ 54 12.40%
NDP 19 15.69%
NA 1 0.13%
OTH 0 5.47%

This means that the Liberals and the NDP only have 154 seats if they vote together. So, the Liberals will have to work closely with the Bloc as well if they hope to stay in power for any period of time. Apparently the average life span of a minority government in Canada is on the order of 18 months. I expect another election soon.

In my riding, the numbers were also pretty much what I expected them to be:

Candidate Party Votes % of Votes
Derek Lee LIB 22114 57.32%
Raymond Cho IND 6905 17.9%
Tony Backhurst CON 5326 13.81%
Fauzia Khan NDP 3557 9.22%
Kathryn Holloway GRN 676 1.75%

Derek Lee managed to get 57% of the vote in my riding. That wasn’t much of a surprise. I just find it hard to believe 18% of the people who live around me were stupid enough to vote for Raymond Cho.

You can look up the numbers for your riding at a few web sites. I was using Election Canada’s web site at first, though CBC also provides the same set of information and seemed to be updating it stats much later into the night.

Comment [10] |  

Reagan's Son is Not Too Impressed.

   16 June 2004, lunch time

Bush had this to say of Ronald Reagan during his eugooogly of the former president:

Ronald Reagan belongs to the ages now,” Bush said, “but we preferred it when he belonged to us. [President Bush gives Reagan eulogy]

Creepy? A little bit perhaps. Now the Club for Growth, a conservative interest group, has unveiled a new ad that implies Bush and Reagan are cut from the same cloth. The former president’s son would disagree with such a comparison:

But my father was a man—that’s the difference between him and Bush. To paraphrase Jack Palance, my father crapped bigger ones than George Bush. [Regan Blasts Bush]

Reagan Jr. has been fairly vocal in his criticism of Bush:

What’s his accomplishment? That he’s no longer an obnoxious drunk? [Reaganite by Association? His Family Won’t Allow It]

I wait patiently for the young Reagan’s words to be turned into an advert as well—without his express permission of course.

“No one has requested the permission to use his image in an ad, nor would we feel it appropriate to give such permission at this juncture,” Joanne Drake said. “We protect his image very carefully, particularly as it relates to politics.”

Comment [3] |  

Time to Vote

    8 June 2004, early evening

I went downtown today to have lunch with my Father and my Cousin. We went to this little Italian deli in the lobby of my Dad’s office tower. They make excellent sandwiches. The three of us at lunch and discussed the up coming election.

The Canadian federal elections are coming up soon, and everyone should really go out and vote. At the very least, voting gives you license to bitch about the government. I can’t stand people who bitch about how the government is screwing them over, meanwhile they don’t take the time out of their day to vote.

Today, I learnt that Dr. Raymond Cho was not a NDP candidate, but was running in my riding as in independent. I thought his sign looked a bit off, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I have no strong feelings for Dr. Cho, but up until today, he was who I thought I would be voting for.

I’ll probably still end up voting NDP, since they are the party whose platform I most agree with. I wish they had a proper candidate in my riding, but since I am almost 100% certain that the candidate in my riding won’t win, I don’t mind voting for this mystery person. As I understand it, the amount of popular support the party gets will be translated into more funding for the party, so it isn’t quite a wasted vote.

Apparently several polls are showing that the Conservatives are gaining some ground. What’s up with that? This election will be quite interesting I am sure.

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Elections in Iran

   20 February 2004, late morning

Elections are underway in Iran, and you can read all about them at the BBC. Iranians are apparently boycotting the elections, in the hopes of showing the world their disillusionment with the regime in power (and, for the lack of a real political opposition).

Hossein Derakhshan, a blogger from Toronto, is a good source for news about Iran. Hossein has asked bloggers in Iran not to vote, but to report about the election. If you are interested in what people in Iran have to say about the election, you can read their thoughts here.

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Let Freedom Ring

   14 February 2004, mid-afternoon

I found this transcription of Martin Luther King, Jr’s famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. There is also an MP3 of King giving the speech.

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