Politics and its Discontents: We Should All Be Outraged

My father lived to be almost 91 years of age. Should I enjoy such a long life, there are many things that I hope not to lose along the way. Near the top of the list is my capacity for outrage. This morning brought confirmation that at least for the time being, it is alive ...

Politics and its Discontents: UPDATE: We Should All Be Outraged

My father lived to be almost 91 years of age. Should I enjoy such a long life, there are many things that I hope not to lose along the way. Near the top of the list is my capacity for outrage. This morning brought confirmation that at least for the time being, it is alive ...

Song of the Watermelon: An Open Letter to Elizabeth May Regarding BDS

Dear Elizabeth May, Please don’t resign over Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. Far from being “polarizing, ineffective and unhelpful,” the BDS movement seeks to employ moderate, non-violent means (i.e. boycotts and other economic measures) to pressure Israel to end its decades-long occupation of Palestinian land. Originating in 2005 with a call to action by 170 grassroots ...

Politics and its Discontents: Free Speech Is Fine

…. except when it is used to criticize Israel, as Mississauga, Ont. teacher Nadia Shoufani is learning. She addressed a downtown Toronto rally on 2 July, marking al-Quds Day, an annual event held around the world to support Palestinian rights and to protest Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. “Silence in situations of oppression and ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Double Standard?

Under normal circumstances, a court of last resort would be welcomed in the pursuit of justice, but it is apparently an entirely different story when it involves holding Israel to account Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Would You Hug A Terrorist?

There is no question that here in the West, we like to treat almost as an embarrassment; we sanitize it, hide it away in hospitals and palliative care units, and conduct our lives with a kind of cognitive dissonance, believing on some level that while it happens to others, somehow an exception will be made ...

Politics and its Discontents: Israelis Of Conscience

I reproduce the following story without comment, except to state the obvious. It is a testament to the courage and integrity of those described therein, who will likely face all manner of vitriol at home for their principled decision: Forty-three reservists from Israel’s elite army intelligence unit have announced their refusal to serve, accusing the ...

Politics and its Discontents: Joan Rivers

I was never a fan of Joan Rivers, though I take no pleasure in the fact that she has died. However, you can call me churlish and insensitve, but I doubt that the celebrity hagiography likely to ensue will include this outburst from last month: Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Cowardly Leadership: We All Pay A Price

As I have written in the past, poor leadership costs all of us dearly. Whether looking at local provincial, federal or international politics, the price we pay for leadership that has too high a regard for itself and too little for the people is moral, social, economic and military disarray. Whether we are talking about ...

Politics and its Discontents: Praising Stephen Harper

Now that I have your attention, let me assure that I am not the source of that praise. No, a site called Breaking Israel News is. Drawing heavily upon a piece written by the Ottawa Citizen’s Mark Kennedy, it offers the following effusive approval of Stephen Harper: The support he has shown for Israel has ...

Politics and its Discontents: Justin Trudeau Speaks

But, unfortunately, says nothing. As I have noted elsewhere in this blog and in comments on others’, I have grave misgivings about the Liberal Party under the leadership of Justin Trudeau. Despite the latest EKOS poll showing the party with a commanding lead while the Conservatives continue to sink under the heavy hand of Herr ...

Politics and its Discontents: Chris Hedges, Gaza Rally in NYC: God’s Covenant in the Promised Land

Here is the note written by Leigha Cohen as an introduction to the following video on You Tube featuring Chris Hedges: On August 9th, 2014 a rally supporting the people in Gaza took place at Columbus Circle in NYC. The rally lasted for 2 hours which was followed by a march to the United Nations. ...

Politics and its Discontents: Thomas Mulcair Speaks

Noted recently is the widespread criticism that both Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair have earned by either their silence or their very timid comments about the slaughter in Gaza. While most Canadians have probably come to expect the reflexive uncritical endorsement of all things Israeli by the Harper regime, many have been disappointed to see ...

Politics and its Discontents: Scotian Responds To A Post

The other day I posted a video showing an Irish Senator and internationally recognized human rights activist, David Norris, speaking impassionately about the Israeli-Gazan situation, sparing no criticism of Israel’s disproportionate response to Hamas’s aggression that has cost so many lives. I wondered what things would be like if we had politicians with that kind ...

Politics and its Discontents: Our Politicians Serve Nothing But Their Own Ambitions

Given the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza, many in Canada have been dismayed, not by the predictable and uncritical enthusiasm for all things Israeli from the Harper regime, but by the relative silence or complicity demonstrated by the two major opposition leaders, Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair; both have amply demonstrated that political expedience trumps ...

Politics and its Discontents: Imagine If Our Politicians Had This Kind Of Honesty And Integrity

The Irish Senator and internationally recognized human rights activist, David Norris, delivered an eminently powerful speech concerning Gaza in the Irish Parliament on, July, 31st. In his speech Norris criticizes human rights violations of Israel carried out with the support of the United States and complacency of the international community. Said Norris: “I am not ...

Politics and its Discontents: John Oakley Hosts Harper Clone

Many thanks to The Salamander, who, in his response to a post from last evening, sent along this link to the John Oakley Show. On the show, the Reverend Charles McVetey, as unhinged and extreme an evangelical you are ever likely to encounter, explains the evangelical Christian validation for Stephen Harper’s need to support Israel. ...

Politics and its Discontents: Part 2- "They Didn’t Get Back To Me"

Yesterday I wrote about the plight of Salma Abuelaish, the eight-year-old girl whose family moved to Canada from Gaza and became Canadian citizens five years ago. Having accompanied her father, a physician, back to Gaza this summer so he could render medical assistance and she could visit with her cousins and grandparents, she became trapped ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Obscenity Called Gaza

The New York Times’ columnist, Richard Cohen, offers some brilliant insights into the Gaza conundrum, a place he calls, “an open-air prison for 1.8-million people.” “…more than 300 children are dead, killed in a month-long Israeli bombardment. Each of those children has a name, a family. Several were killed in a recent shelling of a ...

Politics and its Discontents: How Not To Answer A Question

Texas Governor Rick Perry provides an expert technique lesson in the following video: Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Canada’s Searing Moment of Clarity

I hope you didn’t miss it. The events of the past month in that distant corner of the world, the mid-east, shone a light of fierce brilliance on our own Canada that exposed an ugly side of our country for all to see who would not look the other way. What was laid bare was ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Truth No Amount of Propaganda Can Hide

The following pictures of the devastation in Gaza wrought by the Israeli onslaught are all from Al Jazeera: Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Is the Washington Post Even Trying Anymore?

My brother sent me a link to a photo-essay in The Washington Post said to depict an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. It’s a nice story as these things go. The homeowner receives a friendly call from Israelis telling him to get out of the building immediately as it’s about to be attacked. The fellow gets ...

Politics and its Discontents: Harper’s Policy On Gaza: The Canadian Toll

While the cost of the Israeli invasion of Gaza is almost incalculable in turns of human suffering and loss of life, there is another casualty in all of this, one that is far less obvious and, in the eternal scheme of things, I suppose, of lesser consequence: Canada’s psyche and reputation, both of which have ...

Politics and its Discontents: Harper, Trudeau and Mulcair – Soft on Terrorism

Let’s begin with the definition of “terrorism.” Merriam-Webster offers up a fairly standard definition: “the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal.” That sounds exactly like what is going on in Gaza right now. That is exactly what is going on ...