"We Are All Conquered People Now"

This is why I read Back to Iraq. Chris Albritton crafts one of the most powerful pieces I’ve read yet on the Iraq war. People may wonder why there is such a dearth of “good news” being reported in the media about Iraq. Chris suggests that it may just be because there isn’t much in the way of good news. Iraq is a mess, and what little Chris has seen suggests that the outlook of Iraqis is as bad now as it was before the invasion.

For all of the good intentions the Bush Administration may have had going in, they’ve been drained in the improper planning of the aftermath. Even if we don’t have questions over U.S. policy, we must certainly question the Bush Administration’s competence. I’ll say it again: it’s reason enough to put someone else in charge this November.

But I Thought Cheney Was Practically A… Never Mind

I know, I know: a great man has died and it’s inappropriate to chuckle over his gravestone. However, wouldn’t Reagan’s legendary self-deprecating wit allow for a chuckle over this website? After all, if you’re going to dump Cheney, why not go for the gusto? And aren’t they also thinking about resurrecting Clinton as a VP candidate?

Link courtesy InstaContent, who kindly linked to my post about minority government mechanics.

Iraq War Could Have Been Avoided if Canadian Forces Deployed

From the Globe and Mail.

The war in Iraq could have been avoided had Canadian soldiers been sent in earlier to scare Saddam Hussein, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says.

I’m sorry, Mr. Harper, but what have you been smoking?

This is not a statement against our fine troops, but if you already have the forces of a very belligerent United States arrayed against you and you’re response is Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, would two thousand Canadians really make much of a difference?

Link courtesy Jordan Cooper.

The Revolt of the Grassroots

From the CBC comes word that Brampton Liberals have revolted against their Paul Martin-appointed candidate and are backing the NDP. Nasty stuff, and with a press already sensitive to such battles (witness the whole Shiela Copps controversy), probably the last thing that Martin needs to hear, right now.

But these battles don’t seem to be affecting just the Liberals.

A person walking casually through the riding of Kitchener Centre would be forgiven for thinking that the race was solely between Liberal candidate Karen Redman and NDP candidate Richard Walsh-Bowers. Signs for the Conservative candidate (Thomas Ichim) are nowhere to be seen. Not on lawns, or on grassy corners; his literature has yet to grace any mailbox, as far as I can see. This can’t be right. Reform placed second in the 1993 and 1997 votes. Canadian Alliance gave it a close race in 2000. I know the Conservatives have more support than this. So why no sign of Ichim’s candidacy?

Piecing together bits and pieces of information I’ve heard from a number of sources, it would appear that this is the result of a contretemps between the Kitchener Centre Conservative riding association, and the Conservative leadership. Apparently, at a nomination meeting, a well-respected and longstanding member of the old PCs won the nomination, but Thomas Ichim challenged it, noting that 500 new Conservative memberships, bought close to the nomination date by his supporters, had been disallowed.

Ichim appealed to the Conservative party leadership, which overturned the nomination results and ordered a new vote. Ichim won that vote, at which point the Kitchener Centre Conservative riding association refused to turn over the resources and the funds of the riding. Thus Ichim has had no money to purchase lawn signs or brochures. His website is rather difficult to find.

On the surface, this battle would appear to be a skirmish along the old PC-Alliance front. But at a wider level, this combined with Brampton combined with Hamilton-East combined with nomination reports in Liberal and Conservative ridings in BC and Ontario suggest that the concept of the party leadership appointing candidates in certain ridings is an idea whose time has passed. For better or for worse, the local voters and volunteers aren’t tolerating that sort of thing anymore, and party leaders would do well to use this approach with caution in future.

The Blamb is Back!

With little fanfare, the much missed blog of Brett Lamb is active again. You really should check it out for its mix of Toronto news, views and political cartoons. It’s also got a nice design and very cogent writing. I’m pleased to add it to my blogroll.

Welcome back, Brett!

The University of North Korea

This man was recently offered a job posting at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang. The job description pulled no punches:

Conditions in North Korea are harsh and the successful candidate will need a high degree of resilience. The working and living conditions will be difficult and he/she should be prepared for this, e.g in winter the temperature can be as low as –30 degrees and classrooms are usually unheated. However, the postholder’s apartment does have heating.

The lucky man goes on to add:

23,000 pounds per annum; rent-free furnished apartment (bugged); 11% bonus if you can finish the contract without attempting to flee. A car and a driver are also provided, the driver being a member of the security apparatus.

From People’s Republic of Seabrook.

The Silmarillion in 1000 Words

Go see here

AINUR: Wow! Existence!
ILUVATAR: blows pitch pipe LA!
AINUR: Um… la?
MELKOR: Boop bop-a-doo-bop!
ILUVATAR: LA, dammit.
MELKOR: Bwam bardle ningle boom.
ILUVATAR: Right, you’re out of the band.
MELKOR: Fine, I was leaving anyway.
ILUVATAR: What are you waiting for?
AINUR: Oh. Right. Newly created world. Sorry. Great jam session, big guy!

What are you waiting for? Go Read now! (From McWetBoy)

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