Creuset of Ideas
A collection of various ideas

Archives of "Politics"



2007-08-21 @ 16:11

I’m not really following the Democrat presidential race (or news in general), but I hear there has been another Hillary-Barack debate a couple of days ago. Each scored points, each has their strengths and weaknesses, their failings, their appeal.

But what I just can’t understand is, if either would make a good presidential candidate for the party, why don’t they run together, with Hillary as President and Barack as VP. If both of them have the good of the party, and the country, at heart, why are they dividing that party? Run together and stop wasting everyone’s time. I’ll say that for Stéphane Dion (and only that), after winning the leadership race, he rallied his former opponents to form his council.

Just listen to electoral campaigns: when’s the last time you heard one of the parties say, about another’s promises, “Hey, that’s a good idea, we’re gonna do that.” If a party does that, it gets accused of stealing the other ones ideas. So what, if they’re good for the country?

Funny thing is, if Hillary gets elected, she’ll be the first president to bear someone else’s name instead of her own. I’m always surprise how people thinks it’s normal for a woman to bear her husband’s name. Why should she change her name? (btw, here in Quebec, we’ve done away with that 30 years ago). The only good reason I ever heard was so she would have the same name as her children. But so would she if their had her name instead of her husband’s (or both names), or if he changed his. (In Hungary now, either spouse can take the other’s name.)



2007-05-15 @ 19:55

A few years (actually, a few lustra) back, a fellow student, who happened to be researching native Quebec languages, was commenting how we Quebecois tend to define ourselves negatively. Not in a sense that we have a bad image of ourselves, but that our identity is made up of nots: we’re not Anglos, we’re not Americans, not Canadians, not Frenchmen, not Natives. Although I think we do have a “positive” identity, there seems to be a once of truth to his statement.

I’ve got this coworker who recently moved from Kitchener, Ontario (which we call, around here, moving up); she’s having a hard time seeing that Quebecois are not like Ontarians. In her mind, we’re all the same: we want to be happy, have a family, a good job, etc. She was quite surprised when I explained how Isabelle, when she went to live in Saskatchewan, had a bigger cultural shock than when she lived in Cameroon. She’s also surprised that a lot of people here can often tell a Frenchy from an Anglo a mile away. I work for a company owned by an Ontario one, and we often have to explain to them that what works there (especially in marketing), doesn’t necessarily work here, which any country-wide ad agency will tell you.

Then it hit me: it has to do with how we construct our identity. I may be wrong, but I get the distinct impression that Ontarians (and maybe other Canadians) tend to see the similarities first and foremost, at least within Canada. Whereas we here tend to focus on the differences; the similarities are not important: in our mind, it’s what makes us different that counts (again, at least between Anglos and Frenchies).



2007-05-7 @ 11:03

The observers hunch has brought this hilarious Bill Maher commentary about American republicans’ favourite passtime: France-bashing. A must see.


spc: 1984

2007-05-1 @ 7:44

This month’s Self Portrait Challenge theme is On the street. So here goes:

Surveillance picture

Surveillance cameras are everywhere (there’s supposedly 32 CCTV cameras around Orwell’s old London home); I don’t doubt their usefullness in curbing criminality (actually, displacing it and modifying its type), and in criminal investigation (then again, martial law will get those crime numbers down). What I find interesting is people’s reaction, especially the good ol’ “If you don’t do anything wrong, you don’t have to worry about it.”

This always prompts the following responses in me:

  1. we all do things that are not too kosher, or that we’re not proud of;
  2. it’s not so much what you think is wrong that matters, but what any of the people who have access to the footage thinks (just think of demonstrators against government policies);
  3. stop thinking only about yourself.

Anyway, that’s my rant for today.



2007-03-29 @ 9:15

Via indexed


Bully Culture

2006-11-10 @ 12:23

It’s hard not to think of Bush as a bully. Actually, it seems to be the core of the Republican ideal, and beyond.

Push in line, build your building right in front of someone else’s, destroy a neighborhood, be a winner, a survivor. To me, those reality shows “teach” bully culture — that’s the lesson that is imparted — and that includes ones like Laguna Beach, which seems to promote backstabbing, lying, duplicitous behavior and entitlement — all in a world where no one works. (David Byrne)

Makes it kind of hard to teach kid how to deal with bullies, and how to not be one, when that seems to be life is all about when you’re an adult…


One more step

2006-11-1 @ 10:35

Bush has signed a law that will allow him to deploy troupes inside the U.S. to enforce whichever law he personally deems necessary, repealing the Posse Comitatus Act. He will thus be able, without Congress approval, to declare martial law anywhere in the States. That goes well with his authorization to torture anyone he personally considers an “enemy combatant.”



2006-10-24 @ 11:42

An Ontario judge ruled today that part of the definition of “terrorism” found in the Anti-Terrorism Act violates charter rights. Namely the section on “motivation”.

To which Mark Holland, member of the House of Commons standing committee on public safety and national security responded: “Motivation is a very difficult thing for us because it is difficult for us to understand why someone would want to do us harm.”

Mia fasz?. If you don’t have anyone in your committee that’s able to understand motivation (when there’s a lot of political analysts, sociologist, thinkers, etc. out there that’ve been saying it for the last 5 years), you got one hell of a problem.


Paper trail

2006-09-12 @ 19:13

Part of Science Idol: the Scientific Integrity Editorial Cartoon Contest of the Union of Concerned Scientists.


Step 2: Blame the Innocent

2006-07-27 @ 8:10

About the Isreali shelling of UN positions in Lebanon, [Canadian Prime Minister] Harper had this to say: “We want to find out why this United Nations post was attacked and also why it remained manned during what is now, more or less, a war, during obvious danger to these individuals.”

In other words, it’s their fault for being shelled and killed. According to him, the attack was not deliberate. That’s possible; after all, the base was only well-established and well marked, far from Hizbollah positions, and the raid only lasted six hours, during which numerous appeals were made. It’s probably not Isreal’s fault either that afterward they shelled the convoy that was granted safe passage to evacuate the place.