How to Act Like An Opposition Party

You guys have really got to read Kevin Brennan’s Tilting at Windmills. The commentary there is really astute. Check out his recent post giving Democrats pointers on how to act like an opposition party.

Bush has won a clear mandate to govern. A narrow mandate to be sure, but a clear one, a clean victory. And early indications suggest that people hoping for bipartisanship and reaching across the centrist divide are, unfortunately, deluding themselves. So what are the Democrats to do? In Canada, the answer would be simple: if you can’t participate in the government, then you act like an opposition party.

Kevin builds a credible case, explaining what an opposition party looks like, and how the Democrats have not been effective as one up to this point. The Republicans certainly know how to get their message out; indeed, they seem so adept at opposing, they still sound like they’re in opposition, despite the fact that they’ve controlled most of the levels of government for the past decade.

Will true loyal opposition happen in Bush’s second term in office? It’s too early to tell. But I certainly hope that Democrats everywhere are reading up on Kevin’s manual and adjusting their strategies accordingly.

Re-inventing the Internet

Over at Geek News Central, there’s an article about the U.S. Military working to create its own secure international computer network. The Global Information Grid (GIG) “will enable real-time digital communication and data dissemination through a familiar technology, similar to the World Wide Web, anytime and anyplace, under any conditions, with requisite security.”

In other words, a duplicate Internet strictly for the military’s use.

Given that the original Internet took form as a military network designed to stay up in the event of a nuclear war, one wonders what form the Global Information Grid will take forty years down the line, when it has switched from military use to civilian.

I’m betting there will still be spam.

New Quarterly Bash a Success

Had a great time with Erin at The New Quarterly’s annual bash. This evening gathering featured live music, lots of mingling, visits from our local MP and MPP, and a silent auction, with all funds going to the little literary magazine that could. I donated five hours of website design time and was pleased to find that it received a bid of $45. Haven’t been contacted by the winner, yet.

If your tastes run at all into things literary, be it fiction or poetry, you should consider subscribing to The New Quarterly. They are a quality magazine put out as a labour of love by volunteers at St. Jeromes University in the University of Waterloo, and I’m not saying this just because I’m in the process of redesigning their website.

They have published and even started the careers of some of the best minds in Canadian literature. Each issue is book length and book bound and sells for $10-12, and a one-year subscription (four issues) sells for $36 CDN. Soon, I hope, they’ll be able to take credit cards over the net through PayPal.

Disaster Watch

Remember what I said about enjoying bad disaster movies? Well, if you feel the same way, you might want to tune into Category 6: Day of Destruction on CBS tonight at 8 pm ET/PT. How bad could this movie be? Well, from the reviews, it appears to be just like The Day After Tomorrow, but without the subtlety.

Or the science.

Although I’ve only heard the reviews, apparently the movie isn’t sure if Chicago gets attacked by a hurricane or a series of tornadoes.

Brian Dennehy and Dianne Wiest are two of the poor sod actors that find refuge within this laughably attrocious production, handed lines like “I got a bad feeling about this one” and “I guess I knew the wakeup call was coming, but did it have to come at such a high cost?” I guess Dennehy and Wiest need some renovations done around their homes.

Worse than that, the moviemakers don’t seem to trust that one storm disaster would be enough, so they pile on additional threats, like the national power failure that prevents people from being warned. Superstorm collisions. Mayhem! Death! Writers’ careers up in flames!

Or, rather, the writers’ careers should be up in flames if there is any justice in the world. But the fact is, they’ll be kept on, because they’ve written something so bad, I’ll end up watching it. With a lot of popcorn. And you might enjoy yourself too, if you’re in the right frame of mind.

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