Thursday, December 04, 2008

AHAHA!!! More

Oh man, this stuff is happening fast!

Not three hours after the PM's address on the steps of Parliament, the coalition is already blowing apart!

CBC just said that it is already crashing and burning and that the coalition shouldn't have done this to start with.

JUST REMEMBER. YOU READ IT HERE FIRST!

Prorogued!

Wow. That was fantastic!

The opposition parties - all of them - Just handed Harper's Conservatives a majority government, whether after January 26th, if there is a non confidence vote then, or at the next election.

Duceppe, predictably, came out swinging with his own brand of brilliant, but fantastically spun slagging! That was awesome! If you can understand French, listen to what he says in French! Awesome. He's a great speaker but he was speaking like a really pissed off 15 year old.

As for the other two guys, no matter what they say and do - NO matter - they have put themselves in a position of losing face, creditility and voters. Neither of them can recover from this, no matter what they say and do next.

If they come out swinging, considering that Canadians are so pissed off about all this anyway, they're going to further anger anyone who might have voted for them and they're going to lose voters no matter what: they're going to lose anyone who thinks they made a really bad move and they're going to lose others because they have caused the parties they lead to be mocked big time. Guess where those voter are going... Right. Conservatives.

If the opposition parties campaign during this progrogation, they're going to set themselves up for serious, serious defeat. Duceppe's angry tirade is going to have a negative effect even on staunch separatists, no question, because Harper made a very good - and important - point today: he has not been attacking separatists; he has rightly pointed out that the Bloq does not act on behalf of all Canadians -and Duceppe confirmed that in his address today - but that they have an agenda that is Quebec centred (as it should be and iI have NO quarrel with their madate: Quebec - and Canada to a certain extent - needs the Bloq whether English Canada likes it or not).

And if the Liberal Party thought it was in trouble before this morning, man, that was fun and games compared to what's coming next. Mr. Ignatieff should get his butt out of there right bloody now. There is NO point in wasting his expertise on that party at the moment. Let Bob Rae have the leadership of what is now a leaderless, shit-distrubing party in utter shambles. Dion, who is perhaps brilliant but has zero skills as a leader, attempted to steal a job for which he is decidedly not qualified and has got himself nothing less than a spectacular backfire.

Mr. Layton better have another job lined up because there is NO recovery from this mess. None. No matter how he turns, he cannot recover. He got into bed with Dion, who has always been out of focus, and well before his disasterous address last night. (It may have been an oversite on the part of his tech crew, but the implication of being litterally out of focus - and having the Canadian flag out of the shot entirely - will not lost on the Canadian public. I'm a conspriacist. Read between the lines).

All I can say is there hasn't been excitement in Canadian politics like this since the Trudeau years. Harper could not be in a better position. Whether you like him or not, he's been handed the most amazing set of circumstances. Talk about Christmas coming early! There's no possible way Harper can come out of this looking anything other than Prime Ministerial and the ONLY viable leader there is. Against the backdrop of those three other guys, who now look like idiots, he's a winner.

In January, when parliament reconvenes on the 26th, the government will bring down a budget and will have done it in record time and under serious pressure to perform. If the budget is great - which it likely will be (because, in addition to this mess, the economy can totally reverse in six weeks, as it did in the last six to eight weeks), the opposition is going to be eating crow - and lots of it. If it sucks, then we're going to redo today but with no progrogation. We'll have another election - the third in just over two years. People are going to be looking for stability and they're going to make sure they get it by electing a Conservative MAJORITY government. The perhaps Harper will stick to his own four-year rule....

And there again on January 26th 2009, the opposition will be presented with new rope to hang themselves. If they oppose the new budget and vote non confidence, any election that ensues will guarantee the Conservatives a majority and probably a big one. If they don't oppose, they're all going to look like idiots for getting this shit started in the first place. This is the definition of Catch 22.

The only thing that surprises me about all this is that Harper was able to maintain his decorum when I'm SURE he wanted to be dancing in the streets and singing out loud praises to the idiots that lead the 'opposition' for putting him in the most win-win that the Conservatives have had since I don't even know when - Mulroney's landslide. Wow! Groovey Canadian politics! Fun fun!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Pot. What's it good for?

If you've been reading me for a while, you'll probably know a few things about me, one being that I'm absolutely convinced that a lot of the 'rules' are established for quite different reasons than what The Man wants you to believe.

You'll also know that about a year ago, when I was on a mission to prove to my son-that-I-stole that he was wrecking his health, I spent five or six hours researching pot, reading up on it, what it is, where it comes from, health issues related to it and about the current legal situation.

I found out - from about 20 different sources - that I was wrong, wrong, wrong about pretty much everything I thought I knew about pot. Even Stats Canada told me I was wrong!

Around the same time, my boyfriend, George Strombolopolis, who is arguably the most excellent CBC personality ever, hosted the two fellows who made The Union: The Business Behind Getting High.

Click here for a list of people who were interviewed on camera for this film

And before I go on, I want to make it absolutely clear that under no circumstances do I support anyone using anything - religion, chocolate, alcohol, vicodin, expensive cars, shoes, or pot - to excess or as a means to check out of real life.

So, back to pot.

Did you know that Pot puts $7 billion dollars into the British Columbia economy alone, annually??? $7Billion, the majority of which money comes from sales to the US.

Did you know that pot has not only been legal in Canada, it was a required crop at various times in the past. REQUIRED, as in if you refused to grow it you could be prosecuted. Why? because the by-products - fabric and rope and related stuff - were so durable and indestructible and necessary for WAR uses... yeah. War. Clothing and ropes and stuff.

Did you know that internationally - that is, all over the world - there is NOT ONE case of overdose or death from pot. NONE. There are thousands and thousands of cases of alcohol poisoning and caffeine poisoning annually.

Did you know that pot was criminalised at one point because it made soldiers turn into pacifists? Did you know that alcohol is encouraged for soldiers? Why? Because alcohol encourages aggression.

Did you know that of those who are in "treatment" for marijuana 'addiction,' not one person is addicted? People who enter 'treatment' do so to avoid a criminal sentence, not because they're addicted.

Pot is highly effective for pain control and relief; it is an excellent antidote to nausea brought on by chemotherapy; it is the only known effective treatment for glaucoma; it is an excellent treatment for Tourette's Syndrome and is also excellent for calming tremors in those who have cerebral palsy; it is extremely effective for sufferers of MS. If you were big pharma and pretty much all the biggies you're treating with expensive, toxic drugs could be treated with an easy to grow weed, would you want it legalised?

If you were a police department getting huge funding for "the war on drugs," would you want the source of your funds to dry up?

The realities of why pot is illegal in the US and not legal in Canada (I am making a specific distinction here) have nothing at all to do with weed being dangerous, at all and everything to do with business, police funding and politics. In the meantime, US prisons are overflowing with people who are there for carrying around a joint, while US (and Canadian) streets are regularly crowded with drunk drivers who have multiple convictions.

Anyway, I am not an advocate for anything other than people being informed. I hope, if you're reading this, you will find a copy of The Union - it is available, but I don't support illegal downloading, so perhaps contact the producers first. It is available on The Pirate Bay, HERE

Watch it.

If you can't find it, then click here for Woody Harrelson's film, Grass

Apparently, I'm taking a risk by even daring to blog about this stuff. Remember a few years ago when Tommy Chong was arrested? Yeah. He was arrested for selling unused 'paraphernalia' on line. He has a criminal record for selling products that are perfectly legal to sell.

Oh. My point above that pot is not illegal in Canada: in July 2007, the Canadian Supreme court struck down the possession laws in Canada. Why? because in Canada, where we have some compassion, those who have a medical right and reason to possess and use pot could also be arrested for possession because the law made no distinction. So, rather than rewriting the law, the Supreme Court just struck the whole thing down.

You can still be arrested for trafficking if you have loads of weed on you, but amounts for personal use (and that is where the law is 18% gray) are not illegal to posses. By the way, this is the second time in this century the pot law has fallen. According to The Pot Law has Fallen, there is a class action suit going on, launched by people who were charged with possession during the year or so in 2003 when there also was no possession law on the books.

I could go on about this for pages and pages. Our politicians and law enforcement agencies have found themselves a really, great source of revenue - and yes, they are absolutely enjoying the benefits of the pot industry in Canada - and they are not going to jeopardise it by making any moves to legalise. Oh, and yeah, part of that is due to threats from south of the border.

See? I could so go on...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Canadian Politics: Fired up but still retarded

OH the JOY! I'm so bloody thrilled to have something to write about Canadian Politics! We're so bloody nice that there's hardly ever a fight. But this week? OH MAN is there a fight going on. It's getting HOT up in here! Fun fun!


So, here's how this is going to go:

The Governor General, who has had her trip abroad shortened because the 'kids' are at home fighting, will pronounce that word - prorogue - which will suspend the scrap before the Monday deadline without actually disolving parliament - leaving just enough time for Harper to properly gassify the mess and light it on up.

The winter holiday will take place, as it does every year - meaning that the 'kids' will all go home to their ridings for five or six weeks - y'know, 'cause really, politicians don't work over the winter holiday.

And if you're wondering if they really will take a break, you only have to look at the red herring that's been dragged up from the dead: Karl Heinz Schreiber is back in the news today - one day prior to the re-entry of the GG. Considering that both Chr├ętien and Broadbent are getting front page at the moment, there's no reason to leave out Canada's fave political pugilist, Mulroney.

When the 'kids' come back, either everyone's going to back down because the public outcry will be so huge OR, Harper will push the issue big time, setting the stage for another election. Then, because even though he's pasty and boring, he's a grand strategist who will capitalise on the disaster this 'coalition' is (because as much as I get the separatist position, who jumps into bed with it if they're a federalist?), and he will set a very explosive stage for an election.

If that happens, the Conservative party stands to win big, seriously increase voter turnout and get a majority, because as much as people dislike Harper, they really, really hate the idea of having their votes mean absolutely nothing and seeing their tax dollars burnt up on three elections in two years.

Dion will then go the way of the Dodo, as he would have anyway. Unlike the dodo, he'll go with tail between legs but will make the occasional awkward squawk from the darkness. Jack Leighton's political career will end in disgrace because he should not have been sleeping with Duceppe and threesomes are definitely not allowed. If he shaves the 'stash, he might get a job somewhere other than as stand in for an aging Dudley Do Right.

In the end, Harper is going to come out of all this in a very strong position. This chaos is stinky and volatile but it's the greatest thing that could have ever happened to Harper's currently-minority government....

So. Here's the question: if, as Harper alleges, the NDP, Liberal and Bloq leaders have been in the back room sharpening their own long knives for the many months that Harper claims, will he let them all dig their own graves, dance themselves in and bury their respective parties' credibility with them? I think SO.