Friday, April 29, 2011

Hey Warren Kinsella! It's not always about you!

On April 27th, Warren Kinsella posted a lament about his non-relationship with Michael Ignatieff and a perceived hypocrisy regarding a possible Liberal shift on the idea of a merger between themselves & the NDP (see: "Tales from under the bus"). Kinsella included a gruesome picture, presumably of a corpse (?) under which he wrote: "Me, not exactly as pictured."

In the middle of a hard fought election campaign with the Liberals trying to unseat Stephen Harper, Warren's post struck me as unwarranted & ill-timed and, quite simply, as reeking of self-serving sour grapes.

In his post, Kinsella included a link to a year old Toronto Star article involving his oft disputed claim that he was privy to knowledge of merger talks between the two political parties in 2010 (a claim strongly denied by both Layton, Ignatieff, & their respective staff). It was a claim later characterized as "ridiculous". Hm, I was puzzled. Truth be told, in the middle of a federal election, I thought Warren was being a bit too petulant about his lot in life.

Further, I saw his post included a link to a story posted that day by Althia Raj (posted 1:41pm est.), one speculating that, in fact, Ignatieff may have not ruled out a merger with NDP. A story that clearly fit with Warren's "look-at-me... see-I'm-right" narrative. However, in very short order after she posted said story (and hours before Kinsella posted its link) Althia Raj twittered: "Ignatieff came by to tell me that he is "not in this for a merger," or for a coalition, or union of the left. He is in it to win Lib govt"

Hm, ... did Kinsella choose to acknowledge this fact? No. Why? Because it didn't serve his personal purpose. Hm, ... did Kinsella choose to update his blog with the facts contained in Raj's updated story (wherein Ignatieff irrefutably rejected any merger talk)? Again no. Why? Because, again, it didn't fit Warren's narrative of 'Warren as victim' - of poor Warren being on par with an actual dead corpse in a real picture under a real bus.

So, I decided to leave a very short comment on his blog post that began: "Respectfully Warren" this election is not always about you (n.b. it included no profanity). He did not post it. So, I left a second, similar, comment. He did not post it. Finally, I posted a third and final comment:

Fat Arse says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. April 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm
Warren, once again with punk based attitude of respect... fact you barred both my original & my follow up comment tells me you are getting too thin skinned as time passes. Christos, it wasn't like I was slamming your integrity and/or calling into questioning your views. All I was doing was subtly asking you to take a step back and realize this election is not all about you and those who did you wrong. There are bigger issues at play here (especially in Winnipeg South) and if you're not man enough to hear a little chiding... cripes ... grow up the fuck up!

And I left it at that. I'd said my piece, even though I knew he would not publish it.
And so, I moved on.

Hours later, after supper, I then read this email from that had been sent to me at 4:48CST:

I don't do my web site, for no pay, to take life tips from guys who lack the balls to use their own frigging name.
Punk enough?

How odd? So my comments were disallowed because he does his "web site, for no pay" & refuses "to take life tips" (actually it was an observation- not a life tip) from a guy with no "
frigging name". Okay, fair enough, it's his blog; he can do what he wants. Rules are rules. IF ONLY! See, if indeed Warren has a policy of not allowing bloggers with pseudonyms to post on his blog - fine. Problem is he doesn't. Fact is, Warren often and frequently allows those who don't use their real names to post comments (see comments on his site), ... err... just not those whose comments cut too close to the bone, to the truth about the man, a thin-skinned man, known as Warren Kinsella.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It matters if CBC's Rosie is on your trail: The Election Twitter Coverage

The Twitterverse is a funny thing.

Last night Iggy was in Winnipeg in front of a motivated and passionate crowd numbering about 1,100. He gave a barn-burner of a speech; one that clearly articulated his positions and was even newsworthy for what he had to say about the polls. Sadly, the event received very little "twitter" coverage from the national reporters tasked to Iggy's campaign. I am not blaming them - just stating a fact. The reporters in question just don't happen to twitter all that much.

On the other hand, Jack Layton is in Winnipeg this morning at a considerably smaller rally (600 people max.) giving a much less substantive speech than Iggy gave last night - but he is receiving 4-5 times the twitter attention. Especially from CBC's @. Again, I am not blaming Rosie. She is a fine reporter, as are many of the others from other news-outlets now covering Layton. It's just a fact that Rosie twitters more than most - so, ergo, Jack is getting more digital ink today than Iggy got last night.

Guess it has always been true. Even before the advent of the age of social media. Simple fact is and always has been that: who a news organization assigned to a given campaign greatly impacted how that campaign was portrayed to the public. J.W. Dafoe comes to mind. Not all reporters or their "inks" are created equal. And for those of us today who occasionally dwell on social media networking sites such as Twitter,the impact is both immediate, perceptible, and stark. In today's world, he who gets the most "ink" on a campaign trail is invariably the one being covered by those reporters with the most active thumbs! Is it fair to the under-served candidate trying to get his message out? Probably not. Is it biased? Absolutely not. A news organization's resources are tight, and not all campaigns can be accorded equal treatment. That being said... I do think Iggy has been under served in the last week and a half.

So what's the scoop? Fact, if an @ or an @ from CBC are covering your campaign you have a much better chance of getting your message out quicker & more often than those candidates who get two crotchety old dudes with bifocals, carbuncles, & arthritic thumbs assigned to their trail. In the Twitterverse that's just the way it is!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stephen Harper is still in Contempt this #elxn41

I believe election campaigns should be fought on the issues. I believe that during an election campaign all our political leaders are obligated to engage Canada's electorate. I believe that leaders who are asking for our vote are duty bound to honestly tell us where they plan to take our country.

I believe any political leader who consciously tries to downplay and/or avoid the scrutiny of voters during an election campaign is doing democracy a disservice. Moreover, I believe any leader who attempts to limit public access to his events during a campaign is in contempt of our electoral process and, in effect, thumbing his nose at us.

I believe Stephen Harper's "one-trick pony" fear-mongering coalition message has become tiresome. I also believe he has intentionally avoided giving Canadian voters the straight goods on his party's long-term fiscal plans for our country. I believe his unending efforts to try to frighten we voters into giving him a majority- or else - once again demonstrates his utter contempt for both his opponents and our political system. I believe Stephen Harper is unworthy of a parliamentary majority. And I firmly believe it is in Canada's best interests if we hand he and his party a defeat on May 2nd.

Friday, April 15, 2011

#elxn41's "Other Quebec": A Conservative Disneyland

In the past 36 hours, much ado is being made over the legitimacy of the French language debate. Many say it was unnecessary. Among them a majority of those who constitute Stephen Harper's English Canadian base. Dismissing the second debate as a flawed exercise, they assert it reeked of overindulgence by placing an unwarranted focus on a "biased" province. They are wrong of course. Just as they are wrong about why Canada's "other Quebec" should be allowed to retain its own special status during this . A privileged status that will see it's political culture emerge unscathed, unchanged, and quite possibly the most powerful political force in Canada after May 2nd.

Wedged between a more populous province to its west and some relatively insignificant provinces to its east (at least in terms of population and economic output), this "other Quebec", this monolith, is failing the rest of us. Having no desire to have other Canadians examine the true power and influence they wield over the Harper regime, this province's current federal incumbents are doing everything possible to avoid the media. A province with a tradition of ideological bloc voting that revels in its own political distinctiveness - it's leaders believe they are "right" to avoid the current electoral fray that is .

Curiously, they are correct. For despite their abject blind allegiance to Stephen Harper, the power-brokers in this "other Quebec" really are relatively immune from any criticism on the national stage. The rest of the country, and our national media, just takes them for granted and lets them be. Comforted by this knowledge, they can and will continue to deliver the goods for Stephen Harper on election day. They are also sitting pretty because they know they are the absolute key to any hope that Stephen Harper has of forming a majority government. And, because of this, the province's current crop of MP's also know that, should Stephen Harper get his majority on May 2nd, they will, in turn, get everything they want from the federal government. All without having their values or their disproportionate sway over our national economy questioned. A sweet deal really, especially when you consider that all that is being asked of the "other Quebec's" MP's by Harper is to just: "Keep your frigging heads down... until May 3rd."

I am speaking, of course of Alberta. "Welcome to [the real] Conservative Disneyland"!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Post Debate - Harper diminishes us still

Okay, I'll admit I was disappointed to see Stephen Harper perform semi-competently during last night's election debate. Clearly, his pre-debate prep must have included the meme: ape the calm automaton and you'll present a believable banality that keeps your base happy and will not not send centrist voters running & screaming into the arms of the Liberals. And so he did. But he still lied.

He lied when he stated the choice in this election is all about the economy. Of course, this election is partly about the economy; but mostly it is about his abject CONTEMPT for our democracy and its institutions. He lied again when he accused the opposition of triggering an "unnecessary election". This election is necessary. Now more than ever.

This election is necessary because when we exercise our collective democratic right to pronounce a decision on Mr. Harper on May 2nd, it will inform who we are and what we value. And should we misstep that fateful day, it will see us fundamentally alter our society in a way that diminishes us all as a people. Bottom line, if Harper achieves his much sought after majority on May 2nd, our future will be bleaker. Unencumbered by any real checks and balances on his power, we'll see a man already found guilty of not respecting our institutions take us down a dark path bound to weaken our country, deprive us of fairness, and lessen our freedoms. A Harper majority will, in short, lead to disaster.

So to those of you who thought Prime Minister Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party of Canada performed "okay" in last night's debate, you're right. He did "okay". But "okay" is not good enough... for he still sat there before us and lied.

For me in this election it's not about a one-off debate performance. It's about the principles and values of the different players who are asking for our trust. It's about the merits of their respective visions for our future possibilities. It's about their commitment to us as a people AND how they believe our polity should function.

This election is about what the candidates are are offering Canadians. Will they bring out the best in us? It's not about taking a path borne of cynical calculation and contrived memes. Rather, its about us having the courage to choose a path that balances the needs of the many with the avarice of the few and, a path, that is committed to protecting our rights, laws, freedoms, and the integrity of our institutions. It's about taking a path Stephen Harper is not offering each and every time he stands before us and lies about why we are having this election. We are having this election because it is needed to combat his CONTEMPT. We are having this election to pronounce our judgment on a man who think us fools and who really believes we're willing to overlook his lack of integrity. We are having this election because, frankly, there has to be a better way to run this country called Canada!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yellowstain Harper: A liar worthy of Contempt!

Harper will try to tell you his government fell on a budget that was never debated. He will try to tell you that there is a conspiracy afoot to unseat him. He will try to tell you that Jets, Jails, & corporate tax cuts are what you need. He will tell you, after challenging his main opponent to a 1:1 debate, that he's yellowstaining it because that “train has left the station”. He will tell you he knew nothing of his top political adviser's criminal past. He will tell you he knows nothing of why his Conservative campaign is doing background checks on attendees and forcibly removing some of them from his appearances. He will tell you his plan to keep the $6BILLION in Canadian Corporate tax cuts are good for you and your family. He, in short, will tell you anything! AND he will be lying! It's all lies... Stephen "Yellowstain" Harper is quite simply a LIAR! Proof? See here:

Corporate tax cuts don't spur growth, analysis reveals as election pledges fly

Already deemed to be in CONTEMPT of our democracy by the MAJORITY of our duly elected parliamentarians, Stephen Harper has no shame, he simply continues his streak... he is, quite simply, a contemptuous LIAR!

[photo courtesy of Globe & Mail]

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Andrew Coyne touchy on Twitter this #elxn41: I thought he was made of sterner stuff.

Fascinating. Ppl who know nothing abt physics generally defer to physicists. But economics... ppl think they can craft it to their designs.
14 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply
Fat Arse
@ re: "Ppl who know nothing abt ...economics... think they can craft it to their designs." = A $55B CPC Harper deficit!
Ivison and Ibbitson see it more the way I do.

Fat Arse
@ re:"Ivison...and Ibbitson ...see it more the way I do." No surprise, you're all in the same bubble and spit swaping the same meme's!
Let's be clear: 5 fraud convictions is certainly more shocking than 2. But still a mystery why a guy w/even 1 conviction was anywhr near PM

Fat Arse
@ re: your Q-"still a mystery why a guy w/even 1 conviction was anywhr near PM"- A: he knows, your bias - - he can get away with it!
I'm sorry: I wouldn't hire a guy with a fraud conviction to deliver a pizza.

Fat Arse
@ "I'm sorry: I wouldn't hire a guy with a fraud conviction to deliver a pizza." No? WTF? But U endorse his boss?
@ I don't endorse any1. U hv rare ability 2 ignore evidence that contradicts yr pov. Have u read anything else I've written?

Fat Arse
@ With all do respect Sir, yes... I 've read all your writings for decade+. From my vantage point you are this election, solidly [1/3]
Fat Arse
@ [2/3 con'd] an economic determinist who is prone to "70's era' reductionism about LP platform -but unwilling to apply 80's analysis
Fat Arse
@ [3/3] that highlights the similarities of the flawed economic assumptions Harpo [i.e. Reagan?] is betting on during our recession.

@ You can call me an economic determinist, whatever the hell that is, if you like. But spare me the "partisan" crap...

Fat Arse
@ re: "spare me the "partisan" crap"? A determinist who only sees one side of the ledger IS "Partisan"= economy needs social component

@ Fine. So you *disagree* with me. Adults disagree without impugning each other's motives, ethics or professionalism.

Fat Arse
@ I'll leave you be now... BTW, wasn't impugning your motives "just the lenses you use" - ever in WPG look me up- we can resume then;)

@ We have nothing more to discuss, then.
Fat Arse
@ Pity, but do take care.

Fat Arse
@ On the basis our earlier give&take U took offense? Now I am prohibited from "following"? Really? Silly, sad, and surreal.
8 hours ago Favorite Reply Delete

*** FIN ***

[addendum: I really thought he was made of sterner stuff.]

Friday, April 1, 2011