An interesting gun control debate sprung up on my Facebook wall and this link got posted. The first half, or so, reads as fact, and the second, roughly, as rhetoric. Still, rhetoric which itself deconstructs rhetoric is some of my favourite.
Oh, and it’s probably NSFW.
Yesterday at the UN, Canada joined famed international diplomacy powerhouses Nauru and Palau in trying to block Palestine’s statehood. The results:
Harper and Baird’s hipster foreign policy serves an authentic niche. They can finger-count their allies on this with enough thumbs left over to do one of those “who has two thumbs and hates international consensus” jokes (ironically non-ironically, of course).
And in what is fast moving from the Right’s playbook to the realm of unbelievable comedic hyperbole, they accuse the other 138 countries of acting unilaterally.
Social media is getting weird, and when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro!
I don’t know what my code of ethics stuff on political commentary is going to be like…
People outside of “our” culture might find Petraeusgate confusing. To explain as simply as possible:
Gen. David Petraeus (ret) has fallen into social disfavour, not for killing hundreds of thousands of people, but rather for having sex with a woman who wrote a book about how he learned to kill so many so well.
There, that — and the rest of our society — should be clearer now.
I’m calling this one for Obama.
Don asked me to comment on the federal electoral redistricting that will take the House of Commons to 338 seats. I don’t have anything specific to say about the new boundaries, so I’m going to complain about how districting is done in general in Canada:
Baring all other considerations (of which there are many), boundary commissions see this as an optimal districting for a city:
This usually reflects how cities have grown historically so it makes power brokers happy. For example, Esquimalt started out as a port town that gradually grew toward Victoria and until the Songhees First Nation was uprooted there was a political barrier between their developments. It means that every district can have political offices in the commercial area that the majority of residents access.
I think that it would be better to group similar density regions together into nested districts:
I believe that two people in suburbs on opposite sides of a city have more in common than a person in a West-side condo and a person in a West-side farm. In order to have a representative democracy, similar voters should be grouped.
Federal electoral districts are so big that this is less of a problem than with provincial districts. Some of the most dysfunctional districts:
- Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca stretches from Vic West to Port Renfrew, which will likely elect someone with urban environmental preservation concerns rather than someone to champion rural resource development
- Prince George is cut in half into Prince George—Peace River and Cariboo—Prince George, where the semi-urban concerns of Prince George will be drowned out by the hinterlands (I suspect this cut is entirely to avoid the inconvenience of a district with no popular center, like the provincial district Bulkley Valley-Stikine)
- Saanich—Gulf Islands will continue their battle between Victoria government workers (NDP), Saanich peninsula retirees (Conservative) and Gulf Island hippies (Green)
I don’t know enough about Vancouver to know whether concentric districts would make a difference. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Fort St John, BC and Grand Prairie, Alberta could be in a district together?
Les blanches exotiques is my new favorite thing on the internet.
Via BB, the proper response to theocratic fascism:
As Karl Lagerfeld once said, “j’aime la publicité.” I love media manipulation, and the Right is particularly good at it. A local company, Veritas Communications, writes a newsletter I subscribe to, Touchdowns & Fumbles, which picks apart the PR strategies evident in news stories.
Mostly it gives Touchdowns to Right-wing groups and Fumbles to the Left, regardless of the campaign. The newsletter itself is propaganda. For example, being involved in culture jamming or Occupy earns an instant Fumble.
It’s hard to tease out, because the Left really is worse than the Right at mass communication, but it’s worth watching as a Lefty — learn the use of the master’s tools or whatever: learn the minds of the people who professionally prevaricate to detect said manipulation in your own life.
Ontario isn’t suffering rolling brownouts during headwaves because of excess supply, caused by deindustrialization.