“A Product of Circumstance”

If true, the allegations made by the grieving Gazan father in this news report from AlJazeera are quite shocking.

Palestinian civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip were a “product of circumstance,” Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said today. “We had to carry out this operation. I am at peace with the fact that we did it,” she told Israel Radio. Livni is running for prime minister in next month’s election.

Yesterday, U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown criticized Israel’s conduct during attacks on the Gaza Strip over the past three weeks that have left more than 1,000 Palestinians dead. Our government on the other hand… [crickets]

Harper Can’t be Trusted…


At least not when it comes to making the “right choices” (whatever those may be) about climate change.

According to a new Toronto Star/Angus Reid survey, just 3 per cent of respondents said they trust Stephen Harper in this regard. In view of the fact that 77 per cent of Canadians believe global warming is real, that’s a phenomenally dismal figure. Apparently, even a significant number of Conservative supporters must not think that Harper can’t be trusted to make the “right choices” when it comes to tackling this critically important issue.

Now, if the Liberals can find some way of linking climate change to the economy in a way that isn’t perceived as being a tax grab, they might actually have an opportunity of positively differentiating themselves from the ruling Conservatives in a meaningful way.

Lord, Have Mercy

Republican Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia and two evangelical kooks secretly “anoint” the entranceway beneath the Capitol that President-elect Barack Obama will pass through as he walks onto the inaugural stage to take the oath of office.

Max Blumenthal has all the hilariously awful details regarding these three fanatical Jesus freaks.

Word of the Day: Tragicle

Edward Current explains the “Miracle on the Hudson” and thinks that not only should we praise the Lord when an amazing miracle happens, but start glorifying him for everything else, too.

The Party of Hope?

Wow. What a novel idea.

“We all know that the only antidote to fear is hope, and this party will be the party of hope for all Canadians,” said Michael Ignatieff speaking yesterday to the Liberal caucus in Ottawa (a place where it’s rumoured parliament occasionally sits; when the “governing” Conservative Party isn’t running for election or on vacation, that is).

Actually, I would argue that the antidote to fear isn’t “hope” — it’s acting on a well-founded plan. A good part of the difficulty with the economy at the moment it seems is the crisis atmosphere being relentlessly whipped up by the corporate media, combined with an unsettling awareness that the people in charge (our so-called “leaders”) — not just here in Canada, but in the USA, the U.K. and elsewhere — don’t seem to have the foggiest clue what they’re doing. Instead, they’re just thrashing around blindly, throwing astronomical amounts of money at the problem without there even being any consensus about the nature of what’s causing the “meltdown” around the world.

“People are really worried about the economy,” Ignatieff reported with stellar brilliance as the key finding of his recent “listening tour” across Canada. Well duh. And why shouldn’t they be? Here in Canada we’ve gone from a nonchalant indifference and bizarre sense of confidence that this country would somehow be virtually insulated from global turmoil (before and during the election) with modest rates of growth and even a surplus being forecast, to a grudging admission (immediately after the election) that we’d be in for a bit of tough sledding in a “technical recession”… and finally, to wild invocations of the Great Depression and the promise of massive deficits for years to come. And all of that amazing evolution of opinion, within the space of just a few short months. Little wonder that there’s anxiety and “fear in the land” about the economy when so much uncertainty is evident.

While it’s obviously good politics for Ignatieff and the Liberals to make it clear that “This deficit is squarely Mr. Harper’s responsibility” and avoiding an election in order to once again prove the old axiom that “Tory times are tough times,” shouldn’t Ignatieff at least be presenting its own alternative prescriptions for what he would do to make the Liberals “the party of hope for all Canadians”? Otherwise, it seems he runs the risk of appearing to be little more than a convenient enabler or handmaiden of the present government.

Update: A promising development… so to speak.