Woo-hoo! Dosanjh is Back In…

Well, excuse me for not giving a shit. Jeff Jedras seems quite excited by this news, but then he would, being a committed, diehard Liberal partisan and all.

This gives me the opportunity, as promised, to share my limited experience with the “Team B.C.” marketing arm of the LPC in the last election.

A few weeks prior to Election Day, I was asked to participate in a conference call regarding the roll-out of the Liberal platform as it related to the citizens of British Columbia. A little belated and trailing way behind the curve one might think, but still… not an altogether bad idea. So, I tuned into this sop to the online community out of curiosity, if nothing else.

The usual pre-conference call fumbling ensued… waiting for the principle speakers to depart a press conference, etc. Awkward silence, punctuated with awkward comments. Apparently, we were all supposed to have received the “platform” from “Team B.C.” but most it seemed had not. It was sitting in my e-mail inbox so during this idle period I opened it up and had a look see.

Eventually, the key players made their appearance and ran through the various points of the “B.C. Platform”… the focus of which seemed to be on safe injection sites for drug addicts, women’s rights, a gang violence “task force”… aboriginal rights, and… stuff I cannot remember without going back and referencing the actual document in question.

Colour me unimpressed. And I said as much. “What’s in this for me?” I asked, rather naively after the appointed spokesbots had dutifully read word-for-word from the “platform” that was supposedly custom-designed for people in British Columbia. As an “average” (in fact, economically speaking, well below “average”) person, this said absolutely NOTHING to me. And the response I received… “Oh, well this is just the ‘social justice’ part of our platform.” Uh huh. Good move… lead with your “social justice” angle — because that’s really what working people are looking for!

So, I was dismissively blown off. And I subsequently inquired with an e-mail to “Team B.C.” expressing my displeasure at the way their irksome “roll-out” was handled, the pandering menu of vacuous promises on offer and wanting to know about their other platform planks.

Follow-up: ZERO.

Really… that was it. This facile assortment of “social justice” window-dressing was the sum and substance of the “Team B.C.” platform. There was nothing else.

So, excuse me for being disillusioned and more than a little pissed off. I want to be a Liberal… I want to subscribe to the ideals that I think the party strives to embody, but in its present form, it’s hapless, hopelessly lost and completely inept. I only voted Liberal because of my local MP, otherwise my vote would have gone elsewhere. I’m not alone.


Prop 8: Doomed to Fail

For most Canadians, I would imagine this has an all-too-familiar “been there, done that” quality to it which makes the whole argument quite utterly tiresome.

Why anyone would want to engage in this ridiculous, counter-intuitive institution is their own business, but the experience in this country (and others) has made it abundantly evident that, despite all of the fear-mongering from psychotic homophobes and God-bothering religious nutters to the contrary, opening it up to “non-traditional” relationships won’t make the slightest bit of difference to the status quo. So get over it already. Vote no and share the pain.

Day in 100 Seconds

At this point in the presidential race, there’s something to be said for these compressed, frenetic mash-ups from TPM because, if nothing else, they do convey the zeitgeist of corporate media.

The Forgotten Class

From last week’s Bill Moyers Journal, Michael Zweig, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for the Study of Working Class Life at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, talks about the economic realities of the downturn:

I’ve always found that rubric of not paying more than approx. 30% of one’s income on housing highly amusing. Clearly, this is something founded on an econometric model that’s no longer tethered to reality, at least for millions of people. Heck, if I can manage to keep that figure to within the 50-60% range on a month-to-month basis, then I consider myself quite fortunate (this month, it’s been more like 90%).

To many of us, the whole gauzy notion of “middle-class” increasingly seems like a delusional fantasy, or at the very least, an absurd anachronism.

The complete interview can be seen here. On a related note, David Sirota eviscerates the kleptocracy and rubbishes McCain’s cynical calculations that the American public is perhaps just stupid enough to subscribe to his fact-free “Joe the Plumber” fairy tales.

Snippets From the House of Waxman

John Snow, Bush’s former treasury secretary gets ripped by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) over a photograph her staff unearthed from 2003 showing high ranking Treasury officials together with banking executives in a photo-op for “cutting the red tape” in which they take pruning shears and a chainsaw to a stack of federal banking regulations. Subtle.

Meanwhile, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan admits to a slight flaw in his Randian free-market approach; specifically, that people are greedy, avaricious bastards who will, when unfettered by constraints, readily exploit the greed and ignorance of others for their own selfish enrichment and aggrandizement to the detriment, if not ultimate ruination of the system as a whole. Imagine that.

“Elitism” & “Vulgarity” in Politics

It’s about time someone took down this ridiculous trope:

Ask yourself: how has “elitism” become a bad word in American politics? There is simply no other walk of life in which extraordinary talent and rigorous training are denigrated. We want elite pilots to fly our planes, elite troops to undertake our most critical missions, elite athletes to represent us in competition and elite scientists to devote the most productive years of their lives to curing our diseases. And yet, when it comes time to vest people with even greater responsibilities, we consider it a virtue to shun any and all standards of excellence. When it comes to choosing the people whose thoughts and actions will decide the fates of millions, then we suddenly want someone just like us, someone fit to have a beer with, someone down-to-earth — in fact, almost anyone, provided that he or she doesn’t seem too intelligent or well educated.

Speaking of which, it seems that some of the more virulent wingnuts haven’t taken too kindly to Peggy Noonan’s recent dismissal of Sarah Palin’s candidacy and in particular her pronouncement that ultimately it “is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics.” Hell hath no fury like ideological fanatics scorned.

Bonus Track: Why are garden variety wingnuts soooooo stupid? Here’s a rather obvious answer: