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  1. Grog
    Grog September 29, 2006 at 12:13 pm |

    And people ask me why I want to move to Canada.

    Sadly, HarperCrit is busy trying his damndest to drag Canada down the same god forsaken path that Bush has trod.

  2. Rhiannon
    Rhiannon September 29, 2006 at 1:11 pm |

    If only it were easier to leave.

  3. piny
    piny September 29, 2006 at 1:14 pm |

    I’m promoting this from Greenwald, because it’s so true:

    But it is still difficult to understand the Democrats’ strategy here. They failed to try to mount a filibuster because they feared being attacked as coddlers of the terrorists. But now they voted against the bill in large numbers, thereby ensuring those exact accusations will be made anyway — and made loudly (the White House already started today). Yet they absented themselves the whole time from the debate (until they magically appeared today), spent the last several weeks only tepidly (at most) opposing the President’s position, and thus lost the opportunity to defend and advocate the position they took today in any meaningful way. As a result, the Democrats took a position today (opposition to this bill) which they have not really defended until today.

    They make this same mistake over and over. Isn’t this exactly what happened when they sort-of-supported-but-sort-of-opposed the Iraq war resolution in 2002 because they were afraid of being depicted as soft on terrorism, only to then be successfully depicted as soft on terrorism because they were too afraid to forcefully defend their position? It’s true that fewer Democrats voted for the President’s policy this time around, but it’s equally true that they found their voice only on the last day of the debate — on the day of the vote — after disappearing for weeks while they let John McCain “debate” for them.

    When did the loyal opposition forget how to oppose?

  4. Raging Moderate
    Raging Moderate September 29, 2006 at 1:14 pm |

    “Sadly, HarperCrit is busy trying his damndest to drag Canada down the same god forsaken path that Bush has trod.”

    I didn’t vote for Harper, but he’s not a hypocrite. He stated his beliefs and was elected anyway. I disagree with most of his positions, but he hasn’t been hypocritical. What has he attempted to do after being elected that wasn’t part of his election platform?

  5. antiprincess
    antiprincess September 29, 2006 at 1:16 pm |

    does no one read Sinclair Lewis anymore?

  6. Scott Eric Kaufman
    Scott Eric Kaufman September 29, 2006 at 1:20 pm |

    antiprincess, of course not. That’s why some people thought Fight Club was original.

    zuzu, Timothy Burke’s latest post is also worth a read.

  7. C. Diane
    C. Diane September 29, 2006 at 1:46 pm |

    I’m torn between vomiting and crying.

  8. piny
    piny September 29, 2006 at 1:50 pm |

    I’m torn between vomiting and crying.

    It didn’t really hit me until I read the part about the cigarette lighter in Amanda’s series of passages, and then the synopsis of the powers accorded law enforcement in the bill, and then–

    It will not only create more Maher Arars, it will make it impossible for other Maher Arars to ever come to light. We have just committed ourselves to the torture and imprisonment of any number of other people.

  9. piny
    piny September 29, 2006 at 1:53 pm |

    I mean, who responds to knowledge of a miscarriage of justice with legislation that makes it even more likely that similar abuses will occur, and in greater numbers? What kind of moral bankrupt do you have to be that this is the imperative course of action?

  10. johanna
    johanna September 29, 2006 at 2:03 pm |

    I’m torn between vomiting and crying.

    pretty much, yeah.

    my brain is on buzz. fucking hell. do you think anyone who voted for this or was to lazy to filibuster like they should have have ever sat down with a torture survivor?

    probably not. and I’m guessing the chances of that happening are slim to none because the torture suvivors I know are scared as hall to rock the boat and fear messing up thier asylum case.

    I feel like “fucked up” isn’t enough to describe this.

  11. piny
    piny September 29, 2006 at 2:04 pm |

    What kind of moral bankrupt does this when he himself has been subjected to torture, and knows precisely how useless and pointless it is?

    The kind who really, really wants to be president?

  12. Grog
    Grog September 29, 2006 at 2:35 pm |

    Sez Raging Moderate:

    I didn’t vote for Harper, but he’s not a hypocrite. He stated his beliefs and was elected anyway. I disagree with most of his positions, but he hasn’t been hypocritical. What has he attempted to do after being elected that wasn’t part of his election platform?

    Let me start with running on a campaign of “more open, honest, accountable government”, and then turning into the most secretive government I’ve seen apart from Ralph Klein in Alberta.

    Consider: Some $15 billion in military spending taken behind closed doors, and off the public accountability roles.

    Consider: Lying to the Canadian people about restricting media access to the return of our deceased soldiers. He claimed it was at “family request” – it wasn’t.

    Consider: Railroading an arbitrary extension of our military involvement in Afghanistan through parliament by choking off debate on the matter.

    …I’ve gone into much more detail on my own blog since he was sworn in. As far as I am concerned, the man has lied through his teeth to satisfy his lust for power.

    (Also, I find his fawning over George Bush & Co. somewhere between revolting and nauseating)

  13. KnifeGhost
    KnifeGhost September 29, 2006 at 2:38 pm |

    Sadly, HarperCrit is busy trying his damndest to drag Canada down the same god forsaken path that Bush has trod.

    It’ll never happen. Never ever ever.

  14. Taube
    Taube September 29, 2006 at 3:19 pm |

    It’ll never happen. Never ever ever.

    Sigh. That’s what we thought about America, too. I sincerely hope the situations aren’t parallel, though.

  15. Grog
    Grog September 29, 2006 at 4:45 pm |

    At least you have a nice parliamentary system, where you can get rid of him before the next scheduled election.

    Only when it’s a minority parliament – if he ever gets a majority, it’s going to get really ugly.

  16. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte September 29, 2006 at 6:59 pm |

    On a fundamental level, if McCain is rewarded for his cowardice with the Presidency, there’s no dodging the issue. The blame is on the voters.

  17. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax September 29, 2006 at 8:16 pm |

    Actually, I was considering voting for McCain, despite my numerous other disagreements with him, if he ran against a Democrat who was weak-kneed enough on the torture issue. I figured that to get rid of torture it might be worth being a single issue voter. Now my whole reason to even consider voting for McCain seems to have gone away.

  18. KnifeGhost
    KnifeGhost September 29, 2006 at 9:16 pm |

    Sigh. That’s what we thought about America, too. I sincerely hope the situations aren’t parallel, though.

    They aren’t.

    Grog, Harper will never get a majority government. If the Liberals elect anybody semi-competent as leader (probably Rae, and I don’t give a fuck how many Ontarians still grumble about him), they will _at least_ hold him to another minority. They’ll probably take one themselves, and then win a solid (but not huge) majority in the next election.

    Bottom line, Canadians don’t want to be like America. We really really don’t. If there’s one unifying Canadian value, that’s it.

  19. belledame222
    belledame222 September 29, 2006 at 9:57 pm |

    So, will you marry me? Or know someone who will? I can mail myself off and even provide the stamps. I’m not proud.

  20. Acephalous
    Acephalous September 29, 2006 at 10:00 pm |

    Torture, Inc.: The Future Is Then

    In his 1892 American Anthropologist article, James Welling observes that the employment of torture as an engine of justice belongs to an advanced stage of mental evolution (194). Advanced, that is, when compared to judicial ordeal, such asa wager of

  21. Grog
    Grog September 29, 2006 at 10:10 pm |

    Sayeth KnifeGhost:

    Grog, Harper will never get a majority government. If the Liberals elect anybody semi-competent as leader (probably Rae, and I don’t give a fuck how many Ontarians still grumble about him), they will _at least_ hold him to another minority. They’ll probably take one themselves, and then win a solid (but not huge) majority in the next election.

    I hope you are correct in this. Since I live in Alberta, I have only a superficial sense of how the rest of Canada sees Harper. (In Alberta, you can get a bale of hay elected if it’s got a “Conservative” banner on it!)

  22. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl September 30, 2006 at 12:33 am |

    belledame222 Says:
    September 29th, 2006 at 9:57 pm
    So, will you marry me? Or know someone who will? I can mail myself off and even provide the stamps. I’m not proud.

    I could marry you, not being married already. On the other hand, I’ve made that offer to quite a few American friends and acquaintances. None of them has taken me up on it yet, but if the time comes it’ll be first come first served in terms of who wins the citizenship lottery by way of my hand in marriage.

    On the bright side, I have valid Canadian citizenship, and there’s a documented history of my queerness, so Immigration is unlikely to get too suspicious. On the cloudy side, I have an insane cat and a pathological need for privacy. So the platonic roomies while pretending to be really married thing would probably end with me throwing furniture at you, given how much I hated having roomies in the past. Didn’t hate them, just hated living with them. And any overly literal readers, please note that I’ve never *actually* thrown furniture at anyone. I’ve just thought about it in vivid detail from time to time.

    Harper’s a dick, and so is his cabinet. On the bright side, the Lebanon thing hurt him and his party, especially in Quebec where there are many Lebanese immigrants and the Conservatives only won a minority government by dint of an electoral breakthrough in Quebec. So with any luck he and his wannabe-Republican lackeys won’t get a majority government.

    And at least we got rid of those dipshits David Frum and Danielle Crittenden (two children of privilege lecturing everybody on the importance of bootstraps). I think they consider themselves American now, thank heavens. And we got rid of Conrad Black, too, although he’s now trying to get his citizenship back (snort!). So yeah, there have been some nasty steps recently, but there are a few rays of sunshine.

  23. Raging Moderate
    Raging Moderate September 30, 2006 at 1:16 am |

    Bottom line, Canadians don’t want to be like America. We really really don’t. If there’s one unifying Canadian value, that’s it.

    Truer words were never spoke.

    Since I live in Alberta, I have only a superficial sense of how the rest of Canada sees Harper.

    I’m in Montreal, and we saw Harper as something to bludgeon the Liberal’s out of power with. Diefenbaker’s corpse would have won a minority government for the Tories in the last election.

  24. KnifeGhost
    KnifeGhost September 30, 2006 at 3:46 am |

    It’s ok, I know how it is. I lived in Alberta in my formative angry teenage years. Alberta is a bubble of crazy. My dad once ran for the legislature there and lost to a bale of Conservative hay.

    Alberta is not, has never been, and wil never be representative of the rest of Canada.

    And I’m open to offers for sham marriages, if anyone wants to become a citizen. If we really get along, I might even put out.

  25. belledame222
    belledame222 September 30, 2006 at 8:59 am |

    Oh, I like privacy, too. and i have a semi-insane cat. i think we’ll get along fiiiiiiiiiine.

  26. Raging Moderate
    Raging Moderate September 30, 2006 at 11:01 am |

    On the bright side, the Lebanon thing hurt him and his party, especially in Quebec

    I don’t know about that. The Quebecers who would be upset about it wouldn’t vote for Harper anyway – the only support for Hezbollah comes from the separatists, who have a soft spot for terrorists (FLQ, anyone?). The breakthrough in Quebec wasn’t due a desire to move to the right; it was to punish the Liberals (some of that Canadian strategic voting).

    I can’t see Harper winning a majority government unless he governs spectacularly, or the Liberals still haven’t gotten their shit together by the next election.

  27. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl September 30, 2006 at 7:32 pm |

    You’re right that plenty of the people who were upset about the leisurely evacuation of their family members and the lack of interest Harper’s government showed in trying to broker a ceasefire probably hurt them worst among people who wouldn’t have voted Tory anyway. However, I know some Lebanese-Canadians, several of whom I would consider to be socially conservative and possibly Conservative voters on that score. Or at least they were leaning Conservative prior to this summer.

    And given that the Tory grip on most of its Quebec seats is kind of shaky anyway, I doubt it’ll help them retain those seats. Not to mention that, as you said, there were many strategic voters who voted less for the Tories and more against the Grits. And the desire to punish the Liberals will presumably decrease the longer they’re out of office. Out of sight out of mind, and so forth.

    I’m not saying Harper & Co. *couldn’t* win a majority. But a fair chunk of their support in the last election came from swing voters who were giving the Tories a shot (particularly since they could simultaneously give the Grits a bloody nose), rather than turning out their conservative base. They can’t count on those voters in future if they become unpopular. And if they want to maintain power even in a minority government, or expand to a majority, they need more votes.

    It won’t take too many seats to tip the balance, particularly since the Bloc Quebecois and/or the NDP might throw their support behind a slightly expanded Liberal minority, and enable them to form a coalition government. I doubt such a coalition would be stable (the last one didn’t last especially long) but if it lasted long enough for Harper to have to vacate 16 Sussex Drive, that would cause problems for him. So he may manage to solidify his support and go on to win a majority, or his existing support could be nibbled away at enough for there to be a change in government. Could go either way, but I’d say his position is far from secure.

  28. A Modest Construct
    A Modest Construct October 2, 2006 at 12:20 pm |

    Noticing two layers of irony that have apparently escaped us

    Der Papst angered Muslims last month by quoting a 14th-century emperor who denounced Islam as a religion of hatred and violence[1], and set off a literal firestorm as furious Muslims and sympathizers not only verbally castigated him (fine), but in some…

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