Saturday, July 29, 2006

Chamberlain and Churchill, or, How About A Real President For A Change?

I always thought the "Bush is Churchillian" comparisons were really overwrought and strained. If, in a hundred years, his way proves to be right, I will, scout's honour, be first to say, "Thank god he won that one for us," but he still won't be Churchill.

I'm getting nervous, though, that he's actually Chamberlain.

Chamberlain's been judged too harshly by history, I suspect - he was no sissy pantywaist afraid of Hitler. He was afraid of war, and having just lived through the Great War, had every justifiable reason to try and avoid another one.

Chamberlain's mistake was not cowardice - it was drastically misjudging his foe. He didn't realize that Hitler was an evil maniac.

Bush is no appeaser, and good on him for that. But I'm growing, daily, more anxious that he's drastically misjudged his foe.

Iraq was never Public Enemy Number One. Saddam Hussein was a cruel and sadistic killer who paid money for suicide bombers - if he died of a snakebite, it wouldn't be a loss. But Iran was always the bigger threat and the greater enemy, it was always the real menace. North Korea was already a nuclear concern.

Is the world better if Saddam Hussein is dead? People can argue that he was stopping a civil war from erupting, but I'd make a long story short and say that yes, the world is better off without him.

But it would be safer if we'd supported a democratic revolution in Iran, and assassinated Kim Il-Jong.

I'm wrong lots of the time and could be now. But I said then that Iran and North Korea were bigger worries, and they've sure turned out to be more than just headaches.

All is screwed up, but all is not lost. After Chamberlain came Churchill. After Bush, let's hope the US can give us a real President - one who can rally a real war effort to crush and destroy Hizbullah and Al-Quaeda and their state-backers. We need global leadership who can tell us all that it's time to sacrifice and chip in, to knit socks, to mail new razorblades, to write letters, to buy bonds, to sign up - that this war is our war, and that it's about our freedom.

We need Presidents and Prime Ministers who will tell us, "When you ride alone, you ride with Bin Laden," who can whip us into frenzies to fight on the beaches and in the streets and never ever give up. We need leadership to tell us who the enemy is and why we must defeat them and how we're going to win - I don't think Bush ever even really knew who the enemy was.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Who Killed The Electric Car?

If you haven't seen the trailer:

It's a bit like Tucker: THe Man And His Dream, in that while it's not a great film, it's a fascinating and intriguing tale to watch, full of imaginative engineers and inventors whose dreams of a better product are crushed by their masters in Detroit.

You don't need to be an environmentalist - Ayn Rand would be as up in arms after a screening as David Suzuki, what GM did here was an assault on the true nature of capitalism. This was a better product that would have changed the world - it's no stretch to say that the Middle East would look a lot different if the EV1 had been given a real chance.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Laura Ingraham vs. Juan Williams - In the end, there can be only one!

This clip characterizes my frustration with the Left on the Israel vs. Hezbollah issue.

I'm a centrist non-partisan, and I listen to both the "right" and "left". I'm disappointed though, lately, in the left's inability to articulate a better, different strategy to pursue. "Immediate diplomatic action" is not a "plan". It's weak and shows an obvious lack of thinking. Diplomatic efforts have failed for years and years now. That in itself is not a reason to simply call them off, but there clearly would need to be a different and unique approach in order to successfully continue them - a fresh incentive, a new stick to wield, something.

Ingraham is being intellectually dishonest (ie. putting words in his mouth), and I'm not in support of her approach to Williams; she could have coaxed a real discussion from him. However, Williams loses, badly: his absolute inability to express any kind of thinking at all is ridiculous. He wants to involve the Arab nations - great, how?

I'm listening and I want to hear tactics to close the conflict without more killing - but I'm not interested in no-thought-involved plans.

Anyone got a better idea than what Williams could come up with?

Friday, July 21, 2006

He's being rather Pat, I'd say...

I think that Pat Buchanan, of all people, just made me re-consider something.

I need a cigarette or something now.

And I don't even actually smoke...

"Accidental Tourists"

I think this here is just an emotional issue for Garth Turner et al, prompted by the media focusing strictly on comments of criticism from Lebanese-Canadians, and not giving airtime or print space to the numerous comments of praise and gratitude. (Thanks to Springer for the link)

Turner's a very, very emotional man, and doesn't think with his head nearly enough, alas.

Instead of his unreasonable outburst of outrage directed at Lebanese-Canadians, he could have instead generated more publicity for the Canada-praising comments left mainly ignored by the media, who are trying their best to whip everyone into a frenzy. (It's working on Turner)

That's the real shame here.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

It's Easy Being Green

I'm delighted to see the environment as Priority Number 2 in Canadian public opinion. Follow me, brothers and sisters! You have only your smog-related health concerns and catastrophic climate change to lose!

Thanks to Springer for this link on guesses as to the government's promised-for-autumn enviro legislation.

Am I nuts, or... isn't the "liberal" side supposed to be greener? Thirteen years of concern over climate change under Liberal rule, and - nothing. Get this - I just found out that our last big sweeping enviro legislation came from the last Conservative government. Crazy re: expectations, but hey, whoever can get it done best is my pony to back. Probably.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Only their chains to lose

Arab League criticizes Hezbollah for attacks. It's a good article.

I could be wrong, but I'm more hopeful this week than I have been in 6 long years. I think the Muslim Arab world is waking up to the fact that Iran is not their ally, and would like to conquer them. One day, the Arab States might even, maybe-perhaps, ally themselves with Israel against their common foe - Iran. I know, that sounds unlikely, but hey - politics and freedom make for strange bedfellows, and there's no uniter like a mutual threat.

And The Arab Majority may not stay silent

If his "majority" estimate is true, it's possible that the Arab Muslim world is realizing they're oppressed by a cabal of wealthy right-wing-fascist fundamentalist-religious dictators who could stand a good overthrowing.


What's with all the anti-semitism on the (radical) Left?

I'm not talking about people who oppose the Israeli governments policies and actions here. I'm talking about anti-semites!

Ever visit Raw Story? It's a leftist news aggregator. Check out the comments in any story on Israel, and you will, I swear, be shocked at what you see.

I often read, "F*** Israel" (which is not really an impartial condemnation of the Israel government, in my book), and "F*** the Jews" and the like.

Last week there was a story on encouragment to kill gays during a Pride Parade in Jerusalem - and one response said, "As long as they're Jews, fine with me".

What happened?

If you want to speak out against government policy, that's fair enough. But when did so many activist Leftists start to confuse "Israel government" with "Jews"?

I've written to Raw Story and asked them why there can't be a moderator to remove any kind of anti-semitic comment so that their comments boards can improve, but have yet to hear back from them. That was two weeks ago.

I know free speech is great and all, but...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The 800 Watt House

I saw this on yesterday - it's a beautiful home, one I'd sure like to move into, and it's touted as being quite environmental, although I'm not convinced.

Daylighting only works in single-dwelling homes with roofs. Densely packed cities (ie. with high-rises) are the greenest way to shelter people - if everyone lived in homes like this, urban sprawl would be immense.

Enviros generally seem to be against big cities, but they are the best thing for the environment - we take up less space for more people. Bicycling and public transit work best in smaller areas: mass public transit's problem in Toronto is that too few people are spread out over too big an area, so you have to choose to run many buses with few people on them (costly), or infrequent buses packed with people (inconvenient and therefore unattracting to citizens).

Dense cities are the way to go - while this is a great house, it's not the way to go. And a gas-powered laundry is sort of cheating, I think.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

No Nukes Is Bad Nukes

I'm an environmentalist who likes the Green Party but has yet to really support it.

After years of consideration, I've decided that global warming is man-made, and that we can alleviate it. I'm starting to think nuclear is the way to go. My left-y and enviro friends scorn the idea, but what's worse: underground garages with small amounts of radioactive waste, or millions of tonnes of toxins randomly dispersed into the air?

Enviros respond with, "We're leaving that nuclear waste for our grandchildren, I hope you know." Yeah, well, so are we leaving the air pollution for them, too - your point is....?

I refuse to use a/c, my refrigerator/freezer is on the warmest setting, I got the magic lightbulbs years ago, I bike - the truth is, mass society is never going to give up too-cold a/c or too-warm heating, they're not about to install solar panels, and wind is great but not enough. Non-renewable is a problem, granted, but I'm pro-nuclear anyway. Maybe before the uranium and maybe thorium run out, we can come up with a better solution, but for now, I'm right behind Dalton McGuinty's nuclear plan, and I think more Kyoto acolytes should be, too. Canada has wonderfully safe nuclear capabilities, and if France can get 77% of their power from nuclear, well we should be getting 80%, just to get them back for DeGaulle.

The Green Party should consider a heavily pro-nuclear platform.

Jackie Gleason Bets The Mortgage On Harper

I don't have any poll numbers or riding breakdowns, but my simple guy-on-the-street take is that the Liberals aren't going to win for a while.

My secret knowledge comes from my having previously watched "The Hustler", with Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason - in particular the scene where Fats beats Eddie badly at dawn, and tells Eddie that he's a loser because he talks and dresses and acts like a loser - so he'll always lose.

For years, anytime you'd talk politics, Conservatives would get all blustery and shrill and tell you what a commie you were, and cry out that no one understood them. Everything was just spin, the media was against them, boo hoo. And they just kept losing. Liberals would say, "Well, you know, that's interesting - but here's something you may not have considered."

Liberals were inclusive and avuncular, Conservatives were total jerks (speaking generally).

But's the Conservatives who are kindly and avuncular and want to include you, and it's the Liberals who are shrill and angry and will tell you what a fascist you must be, that no one understands them. It's all just spin, and the media is against them. Boo hoo.

I'm all for getting rid of parties completely, but we seem stuck with them for the time being. And for the time being, the Liberals are Eddie Nelson and the Conservatives are Fats Minnesota.