Hillary Clinton A Big Mistake?


I’ll be honest, Hillary Clinton’s official announcement of presidential intent left me feeling unsettled. The painfully bloated process of convincing Democrats her presidential nomination secures a White House term has begun. In a perfect world, the stuff of bitch slapping justice – American voters would ice two terms under Obama with a heaping layer of – “Hey conservative America, stop pinching yourself – this isn’t a bad dream. Pay attention – the people traded a black Democrat for a female Democrat.” Hard as I try, pondering Hillary as that female arrives at inspiration begging for a new home.

Lacking any basis for conclusion other than gut feeling, coupled with the fact I’m not even American, should have prevented tackling a subject based solely on opinionated babble. Truly wishing I’m out of my Canadian mind, until convinced otherwise – I think Hillary for first female Democrat president of the United States is a mistake.

Politics is a fickle game – weighing probability of success against greatness isn’t for the faint of heart. Compromise is the tough choice taken to assure political victory. Hillary is a household name, she leans to the right of left – a position appealing to vastly more fence sitting voters than a idealistic unknown, controversial shit disturber, Christian morality ruffling visionary or bleeding heart liberal. Hillary strikes me as a safe, uninspired calculation.

It’s entirely possible my naive reaction stems from utter contempt of political posturing. Given a choice between Hillary and any Republican front runner – Hillary looks like a breath of fresh air. If only she wasn’t so boring.

Every so often a politician comes along equipped with electrifying ideas, persons capable of restoring  purpose, hope, and dignity to otherwise disillusioned masses. Obama’s vision of America began that way, I can’t help but wonder if Hillary is a Democrat compromise following Obama’s horrifying slaughter at the hands of right wing nincompoops. America squandered change under a great man – perhaps the Democrats are banking on ho-hum Hillary, appealing to safe middle ground.

If I could choose a female candidate for the Democrats, Elizabeth Warren would take the prize.Warren is a remarkable American – one smart enough to speak her mind, pick her battles and politely refuse Bill Maher’s offer of $1 million dollars to run for president. Elizabeth Warren isn’t boring, complacent or afraid of anything – smarten up Hillary and prove me wrong.

http://www.politicususa.com/2015/04/11/million-dollar-offer-bill-maher-convince-elizabeth-warren-run.html

 

Pondering Cuba


Yesterday morning began as any other – reaching for the remote, instinctively allowing a news station to transport me from semi-conscious to reality. Almost immediately I heard this….

“Today, America chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past, so as to reach for a better future for the Cuban people, for the American people, for our entire hemisphere and for the world,” – Barrack Obama

http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/17/world/americas/united-states-cuba-deal/index.html

Leaping from bed with alarming intensity, I nearly stepped on the dog trying to reach my phone. Texting my husband and daughter “Obama just lifted the embargo on Cuba”. “I KNOW!” instantly shot back from my daughter. My husband called a few minutes later – “Holy craps” were exchanged, as we parted to investigate further.

Miniscule shreds of conscience capable of acknowledging Obama’s bold (reasonable and about freakin’ time) announcement, quickly succumbed to overwhelming selfishness. Cuba sole my heart – a remarkable country, full of remarkable people. Proud, stoic, resourceful, artistic, joyous people who persevered despite insurmountable odds. Horrified at the prospect of American business homogenizing “my Cuba”, I found myself spiraling towards a full on tizzy fit.

Allowing a day to ponder implications of Barrack Obama’s policy shift eradicated my fears. Caught up in the historic American “about face”, I almost forgot how U.S. politics worked. I could have spared considerable grief, hours of self loathing for putting the Cuba I love before the people who struggle with rations and shortages, if I’d been quick enough to remember the Republicans.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida was first out of the gate…

“This entire policy shift announced today is based on an illusion, based on a lie,” Rubio, who is the son of Cuban immigrants, told reporters on Capitol Hill. “The White House has conceded everything and gained little.”

“I’m committed to doing everything I can to unravel as many of these changes as possible,” he added.

As of January 6, 2015 the U.S. Senate will be controlled by the Republican party – icing on the cake, Marco Rubio will be the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere (complete with oversight responsibility for the region).

“This Congress is not going to lift the embargo,” Rubio declared at the end of his news conference.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/17/marco-rubio-cuba-obama_n_6342348.html

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) also slammed the change in policy, saying it “emboldens all state sponsors of terrorism.”

“Relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom -– and not one second sooner,” Boehner said in a statement. “There is no ‘new course’ here, only another in a long line of mindless concessions to a dictatorship that brutalizes its people and schemes with our enemies.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), one of the most outspoken Republicans in Congress on matters of foreign policy, threatened to do everything in his power to block funding from being used to set up a U.S. embassy in Cuba. “Normalizing relations with Cuba is bad idea at a bad time,” Graham said on Twitter.

Now I’m mad – who do these nincompoops think they are? Cuba is lovely without Starbucks or McDonalds, the Cuban people however deserve a little respect. America spews blustery rhetoric on how compassionately the “greatest nation in the world” views global issues. All hot headed Republicans see is a Communist nation. Pig headed “over my dead body” gobbley gook emanating from a gaggle of close minded pin heads.

Kudos to you Barrack Obama – never let it be said you didn’t attempt righting an enormous wrong.

 

Notes and daughter in Havana

 

 

 

Sarah Palin Confession


Thankfully, days of Sarah Palin making headline news is history. Palin tries – her recent call to impeach Obama fizzled faster than a dollar store sparkler. Likening Obama’s treatment of America to that of an abusive spouse, Palin argued “his unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, no mas”.

“Without borders, there is no nation,” Palin wrote. “Obama knows this. Opening our borders to a flood of illegal immigrants is deliberate. This is his fundamental transformation of America. It’s the only promise he has kept.”

“It’s time to impeach; and on behalf of American workers and legal immigrants of all backgrounds, we should vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment,” Palin wrote. “The many impeachable offenses of Barack Obama can no longer be ignored. If after all this he’s not impeachable, then no one is.”

Oh Sarah – last year you called for Obama’s impeachment for the debt limit debacle – not even your old running mate John McCain found the stomach to back you up. Which brings me to my Sarah Palin confession – if I’m feeling a little grumpy, looking for something to buoy my spirits or a good old fashioned belly laugh – Sarah never lets me down.Take her comment to Sean Hannity when asked her opinion of the missing Malaysian airplane…

“I see all these smarty pants people on CNN saying it was terrorism or a fire in the cockpit, but I don’t hear anyone talking about the God possibility. I mean, what if they accidentally flew too high and got stuck in heaven”

Part of me wants to run a stream of equally idiotic Palin quotes – common sense screams “don’t kill the moment”. Read Palin’s “stuck in heaven” quote one more time before scraping your brain off the wall, then ponder Sarah Palin as a sure fire cure anytime you need a little “pick me up” – works for me every time. Holy crap.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/08/sarah-palin-impeach-obama_n_5567401.html?utm_hp_ref=sarah-palin

http://www.politicususa.com

 

 

Bowe Bergdahl Nonsense


Obama bashing erupted with giddy vengeance following news of a prisoner trade with the Taliban for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl. Hardly able to contain themselves, right wing hot heads wasted no time calling foul on Obama and the Democrats. How dare the administration “negotiate” with terrorists?  Allegations Bergdahl was captured after deserting his post, fueled in no small part by Bill O’Reilly’s asinine statements – Bergdahl was a un-American deserter,  converted to Islam, and his father looked like a member of the Taliban.

http://www.salon.com/2014/06/06/fox_news_new_transformation_how_bowe_bergdahl_went_from_pow_to_terrorist/

Bowe Bergdahl survived years of unimaginable abuse. Torture, beatings, months held inside a metal cage in total darkness. His father claims he grew the beard in solidarity for his son, learning regional dialects in hopes of talking to the captors. Sgt. Bergdahl and his family have endured more than any of us could fathom.

Pondering reactions of opportunistic right wing trash talkers, a depressing and sobering prospect – a prospect close to eroding my few remaining shreds of optimism. In this case, optimism is defined as my hope average Americans can resist over blown anti-government grand standing, in favor of finding a crumb of decency to welcome Bergdahl home while allowing the truth to be determined.

Attempting reason with a pack of rabid dogs is futile. All I can offer are some facts – if nothing else, throwing them at America makes me feel better.

Soap box hysteria claiming  Taliban men exchanged for Bergdahl are poised to eradicate America’s way of life – alarmist propaganda at best. Statistically only 29% of detainees released  from Guantanamo make their way back to the Taliban. Compare that to the 2/3’s of American citizens who find themselves back in jail within 3 years of release from American prisons.

Your red faced indignation over Obama ignoring a perceived “America will not negotiate with terrorists” policy – stop listening to Fox News and spend a few minutes pondering reality. Jimmy Carter bargained for release of Iranian hostages. Ronald Reagan bargained for hostages held in Lebanon by agreeing to send arms to Iran – come on people, brush up on your history and remember a secret deal by Republican Ronald Reagan to use Israel to ship weapons to Iran, resupply Israel and come off smelling like a rose. Has America forgotten the disintegrating plan which ultimately led to funds from arms sales to Iran being diverted to support anti-Communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua?

What I find most disturbing is a willingness to seize upon blind  “discredit Obama” sentiment.  Claiming Obama destroys American values, using Bowe Bergdahl’s release as fuel for right wing campfires. Void of compassion, oblivious to “no soldier left behind” values, bereft of common decency, let alone intentions to stand behind your soldiers.

I have no doubt the “gotcha Obama” crew are mighty pleased with themselves. You must be patting each other on the backs, high fiving your good fortune, lost in a hazy delusion of righteous victory. All I can tell you is how pathetically un-American you are. How you dishonor the military, mock fundamental codes of conduct – all for the sake of your twisted political agenda. Using Bowe Bergdahl to bolster anti government propaganda is shameful – believe me when I tell you, no one is buying your embarrassing diversion.

Berdahl is an American soldier – his service and conduct, not the business of narrow minded lunatics bent on discrediting the government. Those of you calling him a deserter, making death threats against his family, claiming he converted to Islam (thus has become a terrorist) – while gleefully attacking Obama for bringing him home – know that you are the reason America struggles. You’re acting like petulant children – children in need of a “time out”.

Give it a rest Bergdahl haters. We all know you’re Obama haters – show us you’re capable of putting this issue in perspective by acknowledging your bias. Stop playing games and admit you care more for slamming Obama than waiting for actual facts in the Bergdahl case. Allow the military to sort out Bergdahl’s circumstances. Until such time as concrete proof exists in support of your hysterical accusations – put your claws away and allow an American soldier to come home.

nypost.com

 

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/us-taliban-prisoner-swap-five-points-the-critics-are-ignoring/article18983098/

 

Bush Comment


I wrote this in response to a comment received yesterday on my post “Bush League Ponder”.

 

You and I will never see eye to eye on Obama. You state the only “proof” available to you regarding his idiocy and destruction of America is what news media tells you. The only way I can describe my reaction to this is sadness and depression. I respect the right of any individual to follow their conviction – all I ask is these conclusions be reached independently – the result of thoughtful and individual weighing of the facts.

You couldn’t be bothered to read this post yet used it as an opportunity to remind me of your intention to “vote against every single Democrat I can” provided “Obama and his minions haven’t taken away our right to vote”.

I could remind you – the people voted, they elected Obama not once but twice. Democracy works this way – the people decide, a majority wins. It may be futile to ask you this but my ever optimistic curiosity can’t help itself. Are you angry with Obama or destined to be angry with any duly elected official deemed “un-American” by poor losers masquerading as legitimate, honest news media?

There are two sides to every story. I beg you to resist temptation of covering your ears and chanting “La,La,La ” when your mind collides with my next statement. I’ll be brief, hopefully delivering my message as painlessly as possible. Brace yourself, be brave and stay with me for the sake of your country….

The post you had to comment on but couldn’t be bothered to read described a new exhibit at the George W. Bush Library. An interactive installation where visitors pretended to make decisions as Bush – in particular his response to Hurricane Katrina. The primary “decision point” being “how to restore order”. (Geez – who knew Negroes would get a little uppity if left to stew for 3 or 4 days under lakes of brackish water without food, water, or hint the government gave a damn) Yep – a plethora of Bushganda, ( a play on propaganda not Uganda in case I confused you) a mecca for those clinging to “King George”, the last great American. On the off chance you’re still with me – the exhibit doesn’t allow for any scenarios or decisions not taken by Bush.

Being you’re adamant about gleaning facts from news media – I remind you, Rachel Maddox is a card carrying member of that club.

I have no illusions this response will scratch your “I loath Obama” armor or shed light on your part in undermining democracy in America. Your “news media” must have wet their delighted pants when Barrack Obama dared a middle name like Hussein. You’ve told me in the past he is a Muslim, hates God and is selling America to Islam.

Not that it will make a lick of difference, I’m going to sleep a whole lot better after saying this….

Bat shit nonsense, iron clad protestations and robotic lack of self determination will destroy America. We don’t have to agree. Diversity is something to cherish and learn from – I have nothing but respect for those who take the time to weigh both sides of any debate before making their point intelligently. On the other hand – those who can’t be bothered to look at both sides, those preferring to bully, pout and point fingers – frankly, it just makes you look silly.

https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/bush-league-ponder/

 

Why the Tea Party is Un-American


My apologies to the Tea Party. Being the one to break bad news is never easy – I’m prepared to ride out your onslaught of denial and bargaining, hoping you find the strength needed to reach acceptance. I’m certain you mean well and know you love your country. Your destructive actions stem from insulated thinking rather than malicious scheming. Your literal interpretation of America as it should be – a product of religious, geographic and economic factors beyond your control.

Lets take a peak at your core “values”, your mission to save America for Americans.

What is an American? Who are “we the people”? Would it be fair to say “the people” arrived on your shores as immigrants in search of “freedom”? Freedom from religious oppression, refugees in search of a better life, opportunists in search of wealth, people swayed by the promise of land, survivors of war and genocide? You do realize the “people” includes African Americans deposited on your shores by slave ships – human fodder whose broken backs built your economic power? America was founded on freedom for all these people – a constitutional right to freely practice ANY religion, the core belief church and state remain separate.

A true “patriot”, a person dedicated to the preservation of America would embrace all citizens – faith or lack of – secondary to the principles of freedom. A true patriot wouldn’t demand the ten commandments be posted in schoolrooms, toss a fit when Obama neglected to mention “God” in a speech, throw tantrums over gay soldiers being treated with dignity or whine because abortion is legal.

You’ve made it abundantly clear – the Tea Party is a Christian movement dedicated to “family values”. I’m sorry Tea Party – “family values” upheld by your members is an un-American attempt to divide the country along religious lines. There’s nothing patriotic about it. You champion tax reform, as in limiting the power of government to collect them, salivate and high five each other when hard asses like Cliven Bundy of Nevada stages an armed stand off with federal officers over unpaid grazing fees, and erupt with delusional mirth every time bat shit talking heads at Fox News champion your misguided agenda.

Wake up tea Party patriots – stop with the “grassroots” movement nonsense, it’s embarrassing. Knock yourselves out – love America, love God, go to church, teach your kids prejudice, hatred and paranoia. Arm yourselves with semi-automatic weapons, thumb your noses at the courts, spread hysteria over the evils of non Christians, undermine government attempts to narrow social divides, stick pins in an effigy of Obama – you have the right as an American. All I ask is that you accept the fact you’re destroying America. There’s nothing patriotic about your tiresome ruse – have the balls to come clean. Grow up and admit you want an America under God – your God.

Open your minds long enough for the light of your un-American shenanigans to penetrate  unpatriotic brains. America is far from perfect – you have that right but for all the wrong reasons. Your government is bloated, political system practically ineffective, special interest groups out of control, infrastructure and education on the brink of collapse and a cult of dangerous spin doctors fanning the flames. Your actions hasten the demise of a country you claim to “protect”. God is your business, not America’s problem.

Biblically Hostile Mindblower


I see Barrack Obama as a great American – a man of conviction, integrity and desire to move America into the future. Duly elected in spite of a convoluted system, he swore an oath of office to uphold the Constitution and protect America. A Constitution guaranteeing separation of church and state, promising religious freedom and individual rights.

What he got was a hysterical “conspiracy” ass kicking, hand delivered by knuckle headed fundamentalists. Fundamentalists crying foul and pointing righteous fingers at the man responsible for destroying America. Red faced whiners claiming Obama hated God – people anesthetized by years void of independent reason. People convinced the only good American was a God fearing one. People claiming to fight for the same Constitution  Obama apparently loathed. People like those who author this site…

http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=106938

I didn’t want to include the link, but it had to be done – if for no other reason than to state; I now understand why America is doomed. It lists in chronological order – attacks on religious persons or organizations, hostility towards biblical faith in the military, attacks on biblical values, and preferential consideration towards the Muslim faith. A few examples…

February 2012 – The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion. [4]

April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he is making his speech. [16]

April 2008 – Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they “cling to guns or religion” and have an “antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” [19]

October 2013 – A counter-intelligence briefing at Fort Hood tells soldiers that evangelical Christians are a threat to Americans and that for a soldier to donate to such a group “was punishable under military regulations.

July 2012 – The Pentagon, for the first time, allows service members to wear their uniforms while marching in a parade – specifically, a gay pride parade in San Diego. [62]

January 2009 – President Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary of state asserts that American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions and that limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional. [80]

April 2010 – The Obama administration requires rewriting of government documents and a change in administration vocabulary to remove terms that are deemed offensive to Muslims, including jihad, jihadists, terrorists, radical Islamic, etc. [87]

The list is long, I’ll spare anymore examples. Here’s the thing America – separation of church and state is a constitutional right. Abortion is legal. Homosexual soldiers are no different than any other soldier, they’re recognized by the military and given equal rights.

Undermining America because someone had the balls to respect all Americans – throwing tantrums because your “God” has to sit beside Allah, or perish the thought – a Lesbian atheist soldier who had an abortion after she was raped in the barracks – put your money where your mouth is and start acting like an American.

Obama isn’t an enemy of the American way of life, he hasn’t a secret agenda, or any desire to take away your bible. All he wants is a nation of people willing to respect and honor freedom. Get off your high horse and understand once and for all – your God isn’t the nation’s God. Religion is no longer a matter of state, religion can’t bully the courts, dictate lifestyle or poison democracy simply because you say so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Trudeau


Far from being a list maker, stuff rattles about  my head – coming to the surface for no reason I can discern. Such was the case as I vacuumed the living room tonight and this ponder drifted to the surface. More accurately, my thoughts progressed from mild annoyance at the Republican vendetta against Obama, to a few minutes hard thinking on how “the people” could take back our political systems, and finally – Canadians I admire. Go figure; it doesn’t have to be a logical progression to get me fired up. By the time the room was clean – I had a serious ponder on the tip of my tongue.

Off the top of my head, three men came to mind. Romeo Dallaire, Tommy Douglas, and John Ware. Far from being “listed” because of political, religious or moral grounds – these men stood out among many, as people who genuinely cared. People who lived by a code of ethics, sense of national pride or duty and acted not out of self interest but a far greater purpose. People who put others before themselves, people who stood for something.

https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/romeo-who/

https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/tommy-douglas/

https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/ponder-john-ware/

I can’t shake the feeling that our world needs a few more people willing to stand for something; people who can’t be “bought”, swayed or manipulated. We need people willing to go out on a limb – people tenacious enough to bring about change. I’d just about given up on the concept of a Canadian politician possessing these qualities – then I heard Justin Trudeau’s speech after being elected as leader of the Liberal party earlier this year. I can honestly say – I haven’t felt excitement like this in decades – maybe never. Justin Trudeau is a breath of fresh air; a man who just might be able to clear the dust out of Canadian politics. Trudeau, despite his political father’s legacy – doesn’t reside in the “old boy’s” club. He loves Canada, believes in restoring all of what makes Canada a special nation and doesn’t give a rat’s ass what stuffy Conservatives think. I suspect that someday, somewhere, some Canadian will write about what a “great Canadian” Justin Trudeau is.

An excerpt from his speech after winning the Liberal leadership. Following – a link to the entire speech.

“We are fed up with leaders who pit Canadians against Canadians. West against East, rich against poor, Quebec against the rest of the country, urban against rural.

Canadians are looking to us, my friends. They are giving us a chance, hopeful that the party of Wilfrid Laurier can rediscover its sunny ways.

Hopeful that positive politics has a fighting chance against the steady barrage of negativity that you and I both know is coming soon to TV screens across Canada. The phone messages, our volunteers tell us, have already started.

To adapt a sentiment from the great American President Franklin D. Roosevelt: never before in this country have the forces of negativity, cynicism and fear been so united in their hostility toward one candidate.

The Conservative Party will now do what it does. It will try to spread fear. It will sow cynicism. It will attempt to convince Canadians that we should be satisfied with what we have now.

For at the heart of their unambitious agenda is the idea that “better” is just not possible.

That to hope for something more from our politics and our leaders, more humanity, more transparency, more compassion, is naive and inevitably, will lead to disappointment.

And they will promote that divisive and destructive idea with passionate intensity. They will do so for a simple reason…
They are afraid. But… And I want to make this perfectly clear… My fellow Canadians, it is not my leadership that Mr. Harper and his party fear.

It’s yours.

There is nothing that these Conservatives fear more than an engaged and informed Canadian citizen.

My friends, if I have learned one thing in this life, it’s that our country is blessed with countless numbers of activist citizens, from all walks of life, and of all political views. They have come out by the thousands over the course of this campaign.

They’ve gathered by the hundreds in places like Ponoka Alberta and Oliver BC, Prince Albert Saskatchewan and Île-des-Chênes Manitoba. Canadians who thought they were sending community leaders to be their voice in Ottawa, but instead got only Mr. Harper’s voice back in their communities.

We’ve seen their hopeful faces in crowds of Canadians gathered in Windsor and Whitby, Mississauga and Markham. Middle class Canadians who are putting much into the economy and getting too little in return.

We’ve seen hard-working Atlantic Canadians from Edmunston to Halifax, from Summerside to St John’s, who have decided that this is a government that does not share their values.

To my friends in Labrador, I look forward to seeing you very soon.

We’ve met young Aboriginal leaders from all across this country, from Tk’emlups to Whapmagoostui, who are simply tired of being forced to the margins of this country. With the courage to walk 1600 kilometres through a Canadian winter to make the point that they will be Idle no More.

Francophones who live in Shediac, Sudbury, St Boniface and all across this country who want their children to live and thrive in French, your determination inspires me, it must inspire the entire country.

Quebecers, from Gatineau to Gaspé, who want to re-engage with this country. With their country. Who have no time for the divisive issues of their parents’ past, but want to work with Canadians who share their values to build a better country for all our kids.

I want to take a moment to speak directly to my fellow Quebecers. Your engagement and your support in recent months has been deeply moving. I have learned so much from our conversations and our meetings I take nothing for granted. I understand that trust can only be earned. And my plan is to earn yours.

I feel confident about the future. I want to share with you why

Quebecers have always been builders. From Champlain and Laurier to today, they have actively participated in shaping our country, together with so many other Canadians. Our work is not complete. We face enormous challenges

Helping the middle-class make ends meet. Reconciling economic growth and environmental stewardship. Playing a positive and meaningful role in the world.

To rise above these challenges we must demonstrate our audacity and ambition, my friends.

Audacity and ambition, always.

Lets be honest. We will not convince everyone. There will always be skeptics. People who say that our country is too big and too full of differences to be effectively managed, or for everyone to be represented. They are wrong my friends.

I am not claiming that it will always be easy. That there will not be any obstacles along the way. That we will not have to make some compromises.

Canada is a grand, yet unfinished project. And it is up to us, together with all Canadians, to build the country that we want.

The time has come for us to write a new chapter in the history of our country.

Let’s leave to others the old quarrels and old debates that lead nowhere. Let’s leave to others the ultra-partisan rhetoric and the old ways of doing politics. Let’s leave the personal attacks to them.

Quebecers, let us be, together, once again, builders of Canada.

So that our country can match the height of the dreams and ambitions that are shared across this country. So that we can leave our children a better world than the one that we inherited from our parents.

My friends, the Liberal Party will regain the confidence of Canadians when it proves that it is here to serve them. This is the task at hand. This is what will guide me as Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

To the new generation of Canadians and to all the young people who are not engaged by politics, I have a very simple message for you.

Your country needs you

It needs your energy and your passion

It needs your idealism and your ideas

The movement we are have been building over the past 6 months, it is yours. It belongs to you.

It is the movement with which we will change politics.

It is the movement that will allow us to reform our political institutions, to make reconciling the environment and our economy a real priority, and to play a positive and constructive role in the world.

My fellow Liberals, Canadians are looking to us. This campaign has been their campaign, more than just ours.

They want something better. They refuse to believe that better is not possible. They see the country their parents and grandparents worked so hard to build, and want to hand an even better country to their children.

Canadians share deep values that cannot be shaken, no matter how hard the Conservative Party may try. Optimism. Openness. Compassion. Service to community.

Generosity of spirit.

We want to believe that change can happen. We want leadership that will shape our best instincts into an even better country.

But Canadians will not suffer fools gladly. Canadians turned away from us because we turned away from them. Because Liberals became more focused on fighting with each other, than fighting for Canadians.

Well, I don’t care if you thought my father was a great or arrogant. It doesn’t matter to me if you were a Chretien-Liberal, a Turner-Liberal, a Martin-Liberal or any other kind of Liberal. The era of hyphenated Liberals ends right here, tonight”

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/04/14/justin-trudeau-speech-full-liberal-win_n_3082219.html

What Are We Afraid Of?


As a little girl I remember chanting “eeny meeny miney mo, catch a n****r by the toe”, it was the early sixties, I was 3 or 4 and hadn’t the slightest concept of what it meant. Somewhere along the way the “N” word became “Tiger” – I can’t recall an explanation, all I knew was we had to decide whose turn it was to go first, so tiger it was. There wasn’t a hateful bone in my body; my family – decent hard working people who never spoke ill of anyone. It wasn’t the deep south, this was rural Canada  in 1963 – parents passing along rhymes  they learned as children – nary a thought to meaning.

I believe that “Tiger” was Martin Luther King Jr. Fifty years ago today, close to a quarter of a million people marched on Washington, D.C. Gathered at the Washington Monument, Martin Luther King spoke for nearly 20 minutes, delivering his iconic I Have a Dream speech. Powerful, articulate, compelling – I can’t think of words that do justice to this moment in history.

MLK was a proud American; a man who asked only that people uphold the American constitution, the promise of emancipation, the pursuit of life, liberty and freedom for all citizens. He calls for tolerance, understanding, and peace. He asks that the black community forgive white America and proceed in a spirit of understanding. If you do nothing else today – take 5 minutes out of your life –  click below and listen to the words of Martin Luther King Jr.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFcbpGK9_aw

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Listen then ask yourself what it is you’re afraid of. Ask yourself what good it does to sabotage every move the Obama administration makes. Ask yourself if a “tiger” is just as capable of settling things as any other animal you could name. Ask yourself why you’re filled with contempt, ask yourself to snap out of the past and think for yourselves. Stop being afraid and ask yourself if America is worth fighting for. One of the greatest Americans in history answered that question 50 years ago today – to think his life was in vain breaks my heart.

Nothing Like a Good Conspiracy


Good conspiracy theories spread like juicy gossip. Some fade, a few endure, others are  too silly to discuss. Lives are devoted to unearthing “truth”. Conspiracy web sites abound and television shows like Conspiracy Theory with Jessie Ventura or Brad Meltzer’s Decoded offer hours of mindless dribble.

The other day I stumbled upon an episode of Jessie Ventura”s conspiracy show. The subject was “humanzees” , a secret U.S. government research project aimed at designing ape-man hybrids. Ventura and his investigators took the matter seriously – in the end we had a lot of unanswered questions, no credible evidence, and one overly concerned Jessie Ventura.

Naturally I started pondering my list of favourite outrageous conspiracies, a task more difficult than it sounds. It would be easy to go to conspiracy sites and pick out the most ludicrous. Instead I’ve decided to pull them out of my head, approaching this like a game of telegraph. Far too preposterous to research, I settled on fantasises presented as fact.

Ancient Aliens – one of my guilty pleasures – is the source of spectacular nonsense. Hitler escaped in an alien time machine, bigfoot is an alien, an alien race genetically altered the evolution of man, and Joan of Arc was acting on behalf of alien guardians. Not to be out done, Scott Wolter on America Unearthed offers copper from the Great Lakes fuelled the bronze age, the Knights Templar hid the Holy Grail in America, and a possible ancient Maya site exists in Georgia. Conspiracy dwellers claim Fort Knox hasn’t contained any gold for decades, a massive secret government bunker was built beneath the airport in Denver, Freemasons secretly control America, and the Alaska Triangle gives Bermuda a run for its money. All of these fall into the rather silly category; but I have to admit Fort Knox conspiracies and secret bunkers haven’t been completely stricken from my mind. Nor do I believe Christopher Columbus “discovered” America – ancient history conspiracies should perhaps be given some other name.

The most well known conspiracy might be what happened at Roswell New Mexico. Area 51 has created a cult following of theorists; in my mind the fodder for the science fiction craze that followed. There are people who believe the moon landing was faked, 9/11 was orchestrated by the government, and the CIA assassinated Kennedy. Though little doubt lingers that governments orchestrate perception; look no farther than the weapons of mass destruction fiasco precipitating the  invasion of Iraq as an example – I’m more curious about an explosion of misinformation from news media.

Glenn Beck sits upon his Fox news throne proclaiming Obama is creating a “civilian security force” to enforce Marxism and socialism in America. Beck also came up with his theory of a secret “land based currency”, reporting a government plan to base American currency on land rather than gold. He claimed plans were in place to forcibly take land from citizens using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as their foot soldiers. As if that isn’t crazy enough, Beck claims the government would ask China to step in as muscle in exchange for oil, land, and mineral rights. Beck frequently speaks of Obama’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Most people easily discount alien intervention as belonging to the “tin foil hat” crowd. Television programs about conspiracies are taken with a grain of salt, nothing more than mild entertainment. The far greater concern is opinion dressed up as news. The Glenn Becks of this world are dangerous; planting seeds of fantasy, which translate into truth for far too many people, People who now stand unshakeable in their belief that Obama is Muslim with a secret agenda to destroy their way of life. It’s beyond crazy. We wonder why society is crumbling, fanaticism is out of control, and paranoia has replaced common sense.

Ponder mass media conspiracy theorists then ask yourself why we allow opinion to be dressed up as fact. This isn’t about freedom of speech ; when opinion presents itself as truth – a line has been crossed.