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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tony Burman: What has prompted Canada’s move against Iran? (in The Toronto Star)

Tony Burman, former head of Al Jazeera English and CBC News, teaches journalism at Ryerson University.

He says: "... it is difficult to understand Canada’s timing [re Canada's move against Iran]. It will have precious little impact on Iran’s behavior and seems at variance with the current state-of-play on the nuclear issue. In fact, it actually comes at a time when the mood in Israel’s top leadership seems to have turned against the idea of an imminent strike against Iran. ...

"Canadians have every right to ask its government how it believes such a conflict will evolve. However, reflecting on its recent actions, we may have to wait until our government checks with its new foreign minister in Jerusalem before we get some answers."

Full article: Burman: What has prompted Canada’s move against Iran?.

It will also make it more difficult for Canada to negotiate with Iran about the Canadians currently on death row - have they been written off?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Great cartoon about the RNC: "Can Romney keep the lid on?" (in The Toronto Star)

Full cartoon: Can Romney keep the lid on?.

Marvelous commentary, in cartoon format, on the Republican National Convention - and cartoonist David Parkins even manages to make Ayn Rand look better than most of the other players!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Romney treats climate as a punchline (Grist)

"Romney’s comment wasn’t about an issue of substance. It was about stroking the elements of the population who would be least likely to help him accomplish his goals were he to be elected to office. It was about making an earnest claim from a political candidate into a cynical joke — about diminishing a critical problem in order to add another two points to the scoreboard.

"That’s a terrible precedent for a candidate who might someday need to defend his office. Even more, it’s a horrendous idea for a man who would need, if elected, to lead a nation that must prepare for the most disruptive transition in its history."

Full article: Romney treats climate as a punchline.

Obama to college students: ‘Denying climate change won’t make it stop’ (in Grist)

"...some might say it is cynical to talk at length about climate change only when you are speaking to college students — a group who cares a great deal about the issue but can’t do bloody much about it. Where is Dumbledore when you need him?"

Full article: Obama to college students: ‘Denying climate change won’t make it stop’ | Grist.

Still, maybe we could treat these speech(es) as a tiny step in the direction of sanity...

Thomas Walkom: Happy Labour Day. It’s all pretty grim (in The Toronto Star)

"As unions disappear, so do well-paying, secure jobs. When labour is strong, even non-union shops pay well — just to prevent themselves from being organized. When labour is weak, that pressure evaporates.

"As well-paid jobs disappear so does the middle class. A study released this week by the U.S. National Employment Law Project confirms what many suspected: the American jobs being regained since 2008 pay far less than those which were lost.

"Sadly, much of the middle-class doesn’t recognize the role that unions play in keeping everyone’s wages at livable levels. A survey done for Public Response (a spin-off from Ottawa’s Rideau Institute) suggests that about 42 per cent of Canadians think unions do little for society at large."

Full article: Walkom: Happy Labour Day. It’s all pretty grim.

Tony Burman: U.S. President Mitt Romney? A possible inauguration speech (in The Toronto Star)

"“I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love. . .

"“I love this country. . . You know, the trees are the right height. The streets are just right. I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually. . ."

Full article: Burman: U.S. President Mitt Romney? A possible inauguration speech.