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war in your backyard November 24, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
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I am not a fan of Michael Moore. Never really have been. But there is one stunt, albeit far-fetched, unfair, and illogical, that stood out in one of his films: Michael Moore tracking down U.S. politicians, trying to get them to sign their kids up for war. Of course this is silly for a multitude of reasons a big one being the fact that a parent cannot sign their children up for service), yet the point was made: do those who are quick to support war, be it the politicians or the people who put them in power, realize the ramifications of such actions if brought closer to home? I could get into a whole discussion about the philosophical problems of war, but these are not how the decisions are made. Militaristic governments, in any part of the world, do not use logic and rationality to woe their supporters – they target the emotions with rhetorical devices and purposefully fallacious logic. You hear BushCo. talk of “Freedom”, but do you ever hear him define what “freedom” is? We fight for “democracy”, they say, but what is “democracy”? Likewise in far away lands to which we are sending our young, and often poor, men and women, the authorities are convincing their peoples of “justice” and other such notions. (more…)

gop loss good thing for evangelicals? November 9, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics, religion.
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Normally, I would not dispute this, but when the headline from Agape Press reads, “A Good Election Loss for the GOP“, I start to question myself. See, Agape Press is the CNN for evangelical Christians. While FOX News may be the secular front for the right-wing community, Agape Press makes no excuses for being the voice of the religious right. When I started reading this article I was expecting the typical “GOP-has-become-too-immoral” rhetoric I have been hearing lately from many evangelical Christians (ie. stop having homosexual sex and in general just being corrupt). I was wrong. Mr. Matt Friedeman, a professor at Wesley Biblical Seminary, argues that the Republican Party has strayed from its “small-government” roots. Honestly, I could understand that if everything that the Democrats are going to do is intrinsically evil. (more…)

nothing really changes in america November 8, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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It is currently just past 1:30am MST as I attempt to finish a paper that is due tomorrow (no, I was not procrastinating – it has just been one of those weeks). I watched tonight as the Democrats took the House in the United States and await threat of a recall in Virginia if the Republicans lose control of the nail-biting Senate vote. None of this really matters to me because we are talking about two-sides of the same coin. Nothing in the United States really changes. Former President Clinton was blowing Iraq to pieces before the Republicans obliterated the rest of the country and started dismantling the Constitution. (more…)

olbermann makes me tingle November 5, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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I bet you are wondering whether tingling is a good thing or a bad thing. I do not really know. As a Canadian I do not get MSNBC and so I depend on YouTube and the MSNBC website for my dose of the Olbermann. Keith Olbermann has is crosshairs continually aimed on the Bush administration and fires away with penetrating accuracy. Okay, the gun metaphor was a little over the top. I do not know whether Olbermann writes his own rants (the infamous “Special Comments”) or not, but the scripts are inescapably heart-wrenching at times. Here are just a few of the great ‘Special Comments’ by Olbermann, each are around six to ten minutes long and all are worth checking out. (more…)

marriage crisis in america November 1, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics, religion.
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I love reading Agape Press. It gives me a rush of indignation towards delusional, self-centered, self-righteous, and generally stupid people. No offence. Nothing personal. Agape recently posted an article on the America Community Survey’s conclusion that the institution of marriage is falling apart in America. I was pleasantly surprised that the article did not outrightly blame the LGBT movement’s attempt for equality. Instead, it targeted such legislations as “no-fault” divorce for the increasing rise of divorce. I should say that this is not the survey’s conclusion, but the “World Congress of Families” which is a considered a leader in the “pro-family” movement (ie. pro-right wing evangelical traditionalist north american family movement). (more…)

death of a… October 28, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
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Go see “Death of a President”. If you are a Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, radical, fascist. Go see this film. I prefer not to give film reviews because I think it they ruin films. I can only tell you to see it. I have never seen so many people been so foolish in their ignorant comments they have made on this film. The White House stated it the film does not even dignify a response. Hillary Clinton called the film “disgusting”. Some American theatres have banned the film while others are just refusing to screen it. The funny thing is, these people had not seen the film. The film is, fortunately, not anti-Bush. I heard some guy behind me scoffing everytime the President’s “special advisor” spoke, who was the stereotypical butt-kisser. Bush is cautiously presented in a way that would have A&E wishing for rights on this movie. The most chilling scene in the film is not the half-second shooting of the President, but the installation of Vice President Cheney as President. Mid-way through this film you need to remind yourself that President Bush had not really been assassinated and you are really living in the year 2006 rather than 2008. If you have access to a theatre that is playing the film, go see it.

random news bits October 26, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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I really wanted to continue my “why i am a christian” series, but midterm exams and papers hit and I have been missing a lot of good news (it is election season down south after all). In the past several days, Quebec has been the news again with a discussion that has been going on since before Confederation, but hey, they got invited to the Kyoto meeting in Kenya by the doublespeaking Conservative government Minister of Environment that “supports” the Kyoto accord at the same time as rejecting it. Meanwhile in the United States, the elections have started out nicely for the Democrats as the Republicans have resorted to explicitly using terrorist’s ads as their own. Not only that, but Cheney himself admits supporting the use of toruture akin to that found during the barbaric witch-hunts of the middle ages. (more…)

popes, presidents, and the people October 22, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics, religion.
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This last week has certainly been a historic one for Americans and the rest of the world. The futility of democracy is proving true. Security trumps freedom, and the Republicans in power have fully taken advantage of this. They have been taking advantage of this ever since September 11, 2001. Authors of history books, however, will not write solely on the attacks of September 11th, but of the PATRIOT ACT and of subsequent legislation and actions that political scientists will compare to the events, legislation, and actions of Germany in the 1930’s. The futility of democracy is the theory that admits that democracy will always fail due to intrinsic necessities. The philosophers of social contract theories wrote that we trade in our freedoms for security in the state. This is true for democracies and dictatorships alike. (more…)

conservatives fail on clean air act October 19, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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Bill C-30 sucks. I do not think I am alone in this belief. Bill C-30 is also known as Canada’s Clean Air Act. Within a twenty-four hour period, one Conservative MP was sacked, Bill C-30 was presented in Parliment, and every opposition party and environmentalist group railed against the contents. This all comes as no surprise as just over a week ago PM Harper rejected the advice of environmental experts, stating that he would forward long-term legislation full of Royal Commissions… I mean, consultations, so that the Conservatives do not actually have to spend any money on it while they are in office. (more…)

republicans: silly little christians October 16, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics, religion.
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A new book by David Kuo, a former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, affirms what many political scientists, religious scholars and critical-thinking Christians suspect: the Republican party plays religion into politics to such an extent that they do not have to believe what they preach. The book, Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction, follows the story of how top-level Republicans such as Karl Rove used Christian organizations to garner support for Republican initiatives, yet at the same time mocking evangelicals behind closed doors. These are interesting revelations, not because it is unbelieveable, but because it is coming from a man that was once White House Deputy Director of the Office for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. As odd as it is that America even has such an office, it does, and if anyone would know what goes on when it comes to religion and politics, it is Mr. Kuo. (more…)

would you vote for tom? October 14, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
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No, not Myspace Tom. I saw “Man of the Year” last night. In my humble opinion, Robin Williams pulled of a great balance between humour and politics, never dousing us with too much of either (although people who hate politics would probably argue otherwise). Sure, the film could have been better, could have been more controversial, could have been pushed farther, could have been released four years ago – although who knows, Robin would have had to go on hiatus with the Dixie Chicks. Now that its cool to be disallusioned with the American political system, everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon – not that I am complaining. And yes, I know that Williams and others have not exactly been big fans of the Bush Administration for a while, but most people in the United States were not exactly scratching their heads in the important days of late 2001 while the Republicans were cramming the PATRIOT ACT down the throats of Americans (and the rest of the world). (more…)

the heterosexual agenda October 3, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics, religion, science.
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We all know the Focus on the Family and the American Family Association have some great scientific evidence that prove that homosexuality is not only sinful via the WORD of GOD, but is also leading to the downfall of humanity. According to Dr. Dobson, there is a homosexual agenda to corrupt the minds of the youth, or in the very least, lead them down the sinful path of liberal society. Of course, Focus on the Family makes sure to let us know that they are the good guys and not maniacal Bible-thumpers, for in Christ’s image, we must love even the gays. Of course, these are the same people who believe that freedom means having the freedom not to be gay rather than the freedom to be gay. Well, my friends, we now have learned of the heterosexual agenda thanks to Box Turtle Bulletin. (more…)

doublespeak, ‘dubya’speak October 1, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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Freedom. Democracy. Propaganda. Terrorism. We all know President Bush II has a fairly limited vocabulary, but these words are very close to his heart. They are the words that allow Bush to do pretty much whatever he wants. We all knew that Bush was going to sign into law a bill that imposes sanctions on companies or nations that provide Iran with the resources to have nuclear capability. But lets look at the title of the act: Iran Freedom Support Act. I bet Bush actually came up with this title. One has to wonder whether Bush has any control over what comes out of his mouth and just shouts out “freedom” whether it makes sense or not. The Iran Freedom Support Act is meant to restrict Iran’s freedoms, so whose freedoms is this bill supporting? (more…)

liberal woes September 30, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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If I was a Liberal supporter right now I would be deeply saddened and maybe even a little pissed off. Members of the Liberal Party of Canada have began their delegate selections for the December leadership convention to replace Paul Martin. Although there are eight contenders, there are only four real possibilities for the leadership of Canada’s historically most successful political party: Michael Ignatieff, Stephane Dion, Bob Rae, and Gerard Kennedy. To be fair, I am not a Liberal supporter, but I would much prefer seeing a true leader challenging the Conservatives than the options it seems Liberals are faced with. The thing that bugs me the most is that the voting so far is showing me that Liberal members would rather see a leader more like Conservative Prime Minister Harper than one of their own. The front runner himself begs to question what it means to be a Canadian. (more…)

ex-president bush in 2009 September 26, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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In about 846 days our southern neighbour will have a new President. God, and his friends in the Bush administration, only knows what is in store for America and the world in the next two and half years. I say this believing that there will be no impeachment process due to the lack of organization and leadership in the Democratic camp. The Republicans could get an impeachment proceeding over an affair, but the Democrats cannot get anything going over two fraudalent elections, thousands of deaths in Iraq, illegal wiretapping, implicitly (or perhaps explicitly) approving acts of torture, and blatantly lying to the American people about every event since January 20, 2001. So ever wonder what will happen to George W. Bush come January 20, 2009? (more…)