Over in Afghanistan there was this young lad from the US Army. After his shift–a toiling multi-hour time spent at a guard post–he put his armor, gun, and things back at his base camp. Deciding that he wants to get out for a walk/excursion, he leaves the camp. So he’s off, walking around with only a knife and some supplies, exploring, like guys his age want to do.
This young lad’s name is Bowe Bergdahl. He is currently in Taliban hands and, well, is probably not having the time of his life.
Ralph Peters, an almost daily commentator on all things war on Fox News down in the states, spoke about this poor, captured soul. He is the “Fox News strategic analyst” according to rawreplay.com. Mr. Peters said “I don’t care how hard it sounds — as far as I’m concerned the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills.” In less words, Mr. Peters approves of the Taliban killing first class private Bergdahl. Just because of possibility that “he walked away from his post and his buddies in wartime”. Raw Reply has the Video.
So this poor young guy now not only is in enemy hands but, on top of all of the possible torture, interrogations, beatings and possibly (if Peters had his way) death, an aspect of his country (Fox News being a representative of it) has given up on him. Tim King writes, “When does FOX News cross the line? This is a new age, a new time, and there is no way in Hell that Peters or FOX can cry ‘free speech’ now.”
Err… Actually, they can cry ‘free speech’, they probably will go that route, and they will get away with it.
Fox News, in a 2003 Floridian court appeal, had been given a lot of freedom in its ability to relay information to people across the USA. This, in of itself, isn’t a problem if that freedom doesn’t slip into, well, being destructive. Like encouraging the killing abortion doctors. Well, it sort of did. The court case (the one that had occured in 2000, then appealed in 2003) had initially found Fox News at fault for lying about drugs being pumped into cows for more/better milk.
It was reversed in 2003 on the basis of Fox New’s first amendment rights. The case with Ralph Peters will probably peter out the same way. Fox News has the first amendment rights, with its analyts and with anything, to say what it wants to say. There will likely be an apology, for sure, and maybe some to and fro in some legal battles, but there will not be any concrete actions taken on this issue.
Well, you might be wondering as to why I am writing this. You’ve followed me in my last few paragraphs and you’re probably scratching your head as to why I’ve written a post that’s mostly about Fox News and an American soldier. How could this be in relations to anything to a blog about Canadian politics?
It’s simple, really. For one, America is my and our neighbor. What they do will impact us. I believe Joe Clark compared Canada and the United States to a mouse sleeping beside an elephant: the elephant moves and the small mouse is bound to feel it.
Secondly, a debate is raging across America about health care reform. All Canadians need to do to get their yearly dosage of American media, and thereby its issues and problems, is by flicking on the TV or browsing the internet. The debates down there will definitely pop up in Canada.
Fox News has tried to call Canada’s system a failure. Beyond just Fox News, the Congress of the United States had one representative state that 1 in 5 Canadians die due to rationing of surgeries and health care (… and this man was made fun of on the Daily Show’s “Moment of Zen” on the 23rd). The National Post (about two months ago) did a solid debunking of some of these myths on one of their blogs.
Don’t get me started on mad cow. As an Albertan I know only too well about Americans getting into a frenzy over what their media feeds them.
This is definitely an issue that needs to be watched, a horrendous process that needs to be reversed, and an avenue in which Canada can be hurt rather violently socially–and economically.
So, turns out the Bank of Canada has stated that Canada in this quarter had an increase, an expansion, in GDP. Normally a recession is determined to be a recession when you have ongoing constriction, or decreasing, in one country’s GDP. So, technically, when Harper says that the recession is over he is, well, technically correct.
However, there is still economic woes to worry about.
Firstly, the Canadian dollar is high. This makes Canada’s export based economy weak because foreigners have to pay more with the exchange rate. This is a disincentive to invest and purchase from Canadians, which is bad.
Then, secondly, we have our neighbor to the south, who we have more than half of our entire exports/imports balance with. If you use the same mechanism that they used to measure unemployment (U6, 14+ being included in the work force, etc) during the 1930s you will see that they currently have 16% unemployment. This, too, is bad. However, if we look at the current method of measurement and, with the help of the Financial Forecast Center, we can see the probability of an increasing unemployment rate down south to 11.2% in the fourth quarter. It’s slated to get worse, in other words.
Putting point one and point two together makes the situation just that much worse.
Thirdly, the Dow Jones Industrial Average cleared 9,000. This hasn’t happened since January and would likely be a good thing to see. However, if you look at what businesses are on the Dow you’ll see that banks and service industry businesses are there. Not industrial companies. Service, none-production, and financial services seem to have increased, but the industrial capacity of the USA is still flailing.
In short, we’re not out of this storm just yet. As the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney, stated in a briefing on July 23rd, “However, this recovery is nascent. To sustain global growth, effective and resolute policy implementation remains critical.”
The conservatives just cannot get a break, can they?
Even revoking Ablonczy’s ministerial duty to talk to the public, and then pushing her out of her job with another PC, another issue just seems to dog the Conservatives. Now they’re not supporting the gay community enough. Sadly, Ablonczy has since lost her portfolio. To Tony Clement. Probably because of, well, her zealous effort to show that an event had been approved and, of course, showcase her abilities as a minister. Oh well.
The Conservative Party has entirely squashed the funding for a gay pride event in Toronto. All the files were in order, the “i”s dotted, and the submission of paperwork were divine. But, as it turns out, Divers-Cite (the name of the group) had even leapt to the aid of the Conservatives when the $400,000 from the funding of another, earlier gay event rustled the feathers of www.lifesitenews.com.
Well, Reverend Charles McVety had something to say about these, in his words, “s*x parades”. He calls for right leaning conservative men and women to tell Harper just what they think about using tax payer money on gay pride events. In the linked to oped, he states “The hope is that the course can be corrected. If you and I, plus our friends, families and colleagues voice our opposition to this program, hopefully the Prime Minster will listen and reverse the path he has chosen.”
I sense grassroots troubles. Actually, I’ve predicted it from over a month ago when I wrote Part I of this little series of mine. Quite frankly, I’m pretty sure people on the right who are not only fiscally conservative but socially conservative as well will be spoiling to smack Harper upside the face. Maybe with the Heritage Party?
“I feel like I’ve been had,” the government relations and marketing director Paul Girard for Divers-Cite said. They’ve definitely been had. Hopefully we’ll see some comments from some Liberals before the week is done. This is just getting sad.