Obama Gets the Nomination, and Other Items of Note
By now you already know that the next president will be Barack Obama, barring alien invasion or the Republican Party's discovery of Hypno-ray technology. Most of the media is trumpeting this with headlines like "History is Made!"
I quite agree. For the first time since 1996 a qualified candidate is likely to become the next president.
In other news, the Canadian Islamic Conference is suing Maclean's magazine over charges that excerpts from a right-wing paranoid fantasist's book constituted hate speech.
Initially I thought "Well, at least there's a process." I still do, but now for different reasons. After reading up on the issue, including the article itself, I feel that the complaint may have shreds of merit, but not enough to make a case.
The article, an excerpt of Mark Steyn's book "America Alone", was offensive, to anyone with half-an-ounce of brain.
It started by invoking the "Eurabia" scare, moved on to describe the residents of the Gaza strip as members of a "UN-supervised, European-funded death cult" and got stupider from there. But I doubt it changed the hearts and minds of anyone not currently sedated and kept clear of sharp objects.
It was paranoid screed, and did indeed border on hate speech. But I feel it stopped just short. Just. The Ontario Human Rights court already crapped on Maclean's, but dismissed the complaint because it felt it had no jurisdiction.
I feel that to say, as did the editors of Maclean's that "The article in question was a legitimate piece of journalism written and published in good faith," is blatantly false. The journalism is nonexistent, the motivation base, the arguments specious and daft, and any good faith is lost after the first paragraph.
However, this case will almost certainly not advance the cause of moderate Islam in Canada. But it will gain air time for the disgraceful rag Maclean's has become.
So yeah, I'm glad there's a process. I just think that at the end of it the BC Human Rights Tribunal will throw out the complaint. It may be a victory for all: The CIC can continue feeling picked-on and Maclean's can continue to worry about the "threat to our values" from Islam.
The Canadian government is trying to sneak more RIAA-inspired copyright legislation in under the radar.
Among its other provisions, Canadian border guards would now be able to search and seize laptops and mobile devices if they found illegal content on them. It would also make it illegal to unlock cell phones.
I'd like to point out how ridiculous this is, just in case any Industry Ministers should happen to be reading this blog.
First: How exactly will the border guards or cops determine whether my copy of "Eleanor Rigby" is legal or not?
Secondly: Why in the name of the bulging brass balls of Beelzebub should Sony, for example, be allowed to sell me the tech toys to rip and burn all the music and movies I like from Sony Music, and then call upon my government to fine me for doing so?
Third: Re. phones--the idea of forcing people to buy services based on the device they're using is worse than bad law--it's actually anti-free market. A comparable measure would be forcing consumers to patronize a brand of gas station depending on the brand of car they bought.
I can't believe they're serious. In fact, I don't.
The opposition parties are behaving just as stupidly. They just forced through a non-binding motion to allow US deserters to stay in the country permanently.
I feel for the deserters--but not much. As Henry Cabot Henhouse III used to say: "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it."
So, sorry boys. Desertion is a crime, and a despicable one. You sign up, and you serve for the duration of your hitch. You weren't drafted, you were volunteers.
I feel a little queasier about all the people being "stop-lossed" to keep a fighting force in Iraq. They served their terms.
The news from home: I completed 40 laps of the Hometown High School track during the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life last Saturday night. Sunday was spent in a zombified state. Monday morning my back went out and failed to take me along.
I'd like to thank Creatrix for her support, Thirtysomething for ... well, she knows (and I wish I had permission to tell Mark Steyn and Maclean's) ... and my chiropractor.