Dude, where’s my progressivism?! Why I no longer identify as progressive.

For many years I self identified as a proud progressive. I identified as such because I believed in such things as secularism, universal healthcare, affordable education, various other social safety net programs,  gay rights, gender and racial egalitarianism, I was pro-choice, etc. I didn’t always fall directly in line with mainstream progressive views, but I generally did. While my political self-description has changed, my values really haven’t.  Continue reading

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What issue do you wish you cared more about?

There are a lot of important moral/political/pragmatic issues. Far too many for one person to even be aware of, let alone be informed on and/or personally active in addressing.

I believe that you cannot choose your interests or your passions. You can decide to try to get into something -e.g., by talking to people who are interested in the issue, watching a documentary, etc. But ultimately, whether you come to care or not will not be the result of a conscious choice to care.

Of all the issues that I recognize as being very important but have never been significantly impassioned about – a vast collection that includes such heavyweights as climate change, Syria, Darfur, etc. – the domain that I most wish that I could choose to be passionate about is the politics of where I live.

I am Canadian but, despite a few attempts, I’ve never managed to get engrossed or active in Canadian politics. Nor have I ever taken even a fleeting interest in the politics of my city or province.  Meanwhile, I’m tremendously interested in US politics…

Is there a cause or issue that you wish that you were actively passionate about?

 

Tell me in the comment section!

Mental Health Risks For Political Activists

We’ve heard of mental health risks for trauma victims, models, high-performance athletes, people in the public eye, soldiers, executives, people living in poverty, and many other social demographics. As a political activist who studies and works in healthcare, is currently on a placement in a mental health unit, and has had personal struggles with mental health issues linked to depression, anxiety and emotion regulation, I have come to believe that political activists may represent another identifiable group at elevated risk for a series of  mental health issues. Continue reading

The Best and Worst Thing About Each Canadian Political Party

What is your favourite and least favourite thing about  Canada’s federal parties?

As a Canadian who has intently followed US politics and is now endeavoring to take an active interest in the politics of my homeland, I would like to ask readers to share what they believe to be the best and worst things about each party. The intent of this exercise is to attract reflections of a range of views on the goods and bads of each party. By asking readers to identify what they like and dislike about each party, the hope is that more balanced appraisals will be given.

Thus, in addition to reflecting on your favourite thing about your favourite party, and the thing you detest the most about the party that you most dislike, I am very interested in hearing about the thing that you dislike the most about your favourite party, and the thing that you like the most about the party you like the least.

Whether you support the Conservatives, Liberals, NDP, Bloc Quebecois, the Greens, or none of the above,  your thoughts are wanted. Depending on the response to this post, I hope to do a follow-up post reflecting on what people of various perspectives have to say about the Canadian parties.

The Conservative Party of Canada is like Nickelback…

YouTuber Laverty318 left the following comment in response to The Young Turks‘ video (below) on the Conservative Party’s majority win in this week’s Canadian Federal Election:

The Conservative Party is like Nickelback. I don’t know anybody who likes them, but they seem to be doing pretty well

Quite clever if you ask me.

On a tangential note, a few years ago I was surprised to discover that Nickelback apparently receives derision in the US in much the same way it receives it in Canada. I formerly thought that Canadians ripped on Nickelback primarily because Nickelback was so overplayed on the radio and MuchMusic, which I attributed in good part to CRTC (the Canadian Radio and Television Council) regulations requiring our major media outlets to carry a certain amount of Canadian content. Apparently there is more to disliking Nickelback than than just that, though I personally have never really had a problem with them and have liked a few of their songs.

As promised, here is The Young Turks on the recent Canadian election results. You may notice that host Cenk Uygur gets some of the numbers slightly off. Aside from that, his commentary is interesting. He discusses how the Conservatives continue to win elections not because a Canadian majority supports them, but because conservatives largely all vote for the Conservative Party, whereas Canadians to the left of the Conservative Party (who collectively form a majority) split their vote across four other parties: the New Democratic Party (NDP), the Liberals, the Bloc Quebecois, and the Green Party. He also explains why, despite its obvious imperfections, he ultimately prefers America’s 2-party system to 3+ party parliamentary systems.

Do you agree/disagree with Cenk’s opinions?

Huge Slant On The Young Turks

For a few years I have been a HUGE fan of The Young Turks, a progressive online news commentary program. However, in recent months my enthusiasm has abated significantly. The leading reason is a perceived one-sidedness in the show’s coverage of certain issues, most notably tax cuts for the wealthy. Continue reading

Bush’s Book: A Book on True Crimes

In the video below, Dave Koller talks about a new movement that he has taken part in, wherein participants take it upon themselves to move copies of George W. Bush’s new book on his presidency to the True Crimes section of the bookstore.

This brings to mind a practice of some “militant” atheists of moving copies of religious texts such as the Bible to the library or bookstore’s Fiction section…

I don’t care if he’s the President. He can use Skype.

There’s been much ado about the President Obama’s trip to India. Apparently some have been reporting that this trip is costing the US taxpayer $200 million a day. Well, I’m gonna go and assume that that is a grotesque exaggeration. In this video (below) of The Young Turks, guest host Ben Mankiewitz reports that a 5-country trip by Bill Clinton in 2000 cost about $37 million. Using this total cost as a comparison, the supposed $200M/day definitely sounds ludicrous. So this blog post definitely isn’t about complaining that Obama’s trip is costing hundreds of millions a day. This post is about saying that if this trip costs anymore than a few hundred thousand dollars – and it will – then the President – who ever it is at the time – should put down his suitcase and get on Skype like everyone else. Yes, I know that there are benefits to meeting in person rather than over the phone or video conferencing, but is that difference really worth millions of dollars? Cannot public leaders just acknowledge that they all have responsibilities to be prudent with their tax-paid dollars?

Absolutely ridiculous. So much could have been done with that money. Orrrr, it could have been returned to tax payers. . The US government has become far too untouchable to the people. This is absolute pigs-at-the-trough insanity.

Atheists Are Religious.

Just because one does not believe in a God, Gods, karma, reincarnation, astrology, L. Ron Hubbard, or eighteen year old “elders” who knock on your door on Sunday mornings to bring you the good news from Utah, that doesn’t mean that they are not religious. I don’t know that I’ve ever met an atheist who wasn’t religious in their own way. I certainly am. Like other atheists, I subscribe to a sort of religion that is both different and similar to what we conventionally refer to as “religion”.

How are atheists religious? Continue reading

He was making a pun!!

Next on Fox: When Puns Attack

This man has become an online symbol of stupidity. Unfortunately for him, what is not well-known is that he was making a pun! His “Get A BRAIN MORANS” sign was directed at Democratic Virginia Congressman, Jim Moran, and Moran’s supporters. Did this little quip ever come back to bite him… What’s more, it’s seven years later and his image is still being used as an international symbol of stupid!

Coincidentally, the blogger who re-posted the image this time also has the last name “Moran”. I like this blogger. He’s a professor at my undergraduate university. But he better stay on my good side or I may launch my own “Get a brain, Moran” campaign against him 😉

Actually, maybe I shouldn’t. We know what happened to the last guy that tried something like that. (SEVEN. YEARS.)