Saturday, March 31, 2012
Monday, November 28, 2011
I made a rather fast ride down to Lima in July, and then parked my bike there. Sam and Nate have been winding their way down since the start of November, and will arrive in Lima on the first of December. I'll fly in and join them. Then we'll begin our ride the rest of the way down.
The blog is here. Keep looking ahead.
PS Look out for a perhaps revived blog in the new year.
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
If you're looking for a laugh, or a reason to cry, check out Don Davies' performance here, starting around 7 minutes. He appears either completely naive or entirely disingenous. Neither is very becoming.
Monday, January 31, 2011
I am not an expert on Egypt, or on democratic emergence, or on Arab politics. So, I shall just share two things. First, this video is remarkable. Second, at the start of our Cairo to Cape Town trip, Sam and I kicked around Alexandria for a week. One of those days was spent with a taxi driver who spoke quite good English. We were trying to gain access to the port at Alexandria, and he was doing his best to free us from the bureaucratic net someone had dropped on us. It was a fool's errand, which at one point involved us in a taxi with him, a harpoon fisherman, a fellow who sold knock-off leather jackets, and one other fellow. I've posted the picture above. He was a man who was very proud to be Egyptian, but very keen to leave. I can still picture the road we were on when he told us "We are good people, but we live in a jail." Maybe, no more.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
But all citizens are not made alike. The same forces that bring out the worst in some of us bring out the best in others. At its best, engagement in electoral politics brings you together with passionate, affable, committed people. These people take up politics not because they want power, or office, or privilege, but because they believe in their cause. Just as often they do it because it is fun. Such people make politics as addictive as its less desirable elements.
My only real experience in politics was when I decamped to Nova Scotia in 2005 to help a friend's father try to win the leadership of the NS Tory Party. I believed deeply in the candidate, whatever my reservations with the party. In the course of four months there, I had the great privilege of working with Susan Millard. Susan was, I gathered, a staple of Halifax politics. With good cheer, dependability, and the right balance of idealism and cynicism, she threw herself into our campaign. She personified what was good about politics. She was not, I estimate, given to its excesses. But she was taken by its virtues. It's people like Susan who make competitive politics work in a humane way.
On Monday, Susan was killed by a car while crossing a street in Halifax. The world was better with her, and is now worse without her. Politics is a little worse, too.
Friday, December 31, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Monday, December 06, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday, July 09, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Sunday, May 02, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
likely is that his procedural rights were violated when he was asked
to give a breathalyzer and when he was searched for drugs. Police
occasionally make mistakes and, whether we like it or not, it happens
to be grounds for the dismissal of a lot of charges. For an example of
this, see Margaret Trudeau's exoneration on drunk driving charges a
few years ago.
So, here is what is perplexing and troubling about this to me. First,
why are the Tories not making the most of this to stand up for harsher
penalties and for more rectification of rights violations at the time
of sentencing, rather than at the time of trial? Second, why are
opposition parties, who we should generally think are quite supportive
of individual rights and strict protections against violations by the
state, willing to take such a frenzied and populist position on this?
In other words, why are they willing to ferment doubt about the
administration of justice when they'll likely squander whatever short
term opportunity it gives them? And why are they doing this when their
own general positions on this issue will be undermined if this issue
More generally, why do parties pursue lines of attack in the short
term which are not generally consistent with their views and/or with
their prior statements, and which may undermine them in the future?
For another example, consider how smart it is for an opposition party
which started the mission in Afghanistan and which has a leader who
has said manipulable things about torture to stake its claims on
prisoner transfers in another country by another government.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
most readings, they are more or less tied with the Liberals. This is,
most probably, attributable to their prorogation of Parliament. And
good on Canadians for punishing a Prime Minister who avoids the House.
But does this indicate that the Tories made a mistake? This appears to
be the consensus, both among Liberal politicians and media commentary.
I remain unconvinced, and it's for one reason. We simply don't know
how far down in the polls the Tories would have been had they remained
in the House, had a protracted fight over the release of documents,
and faced several more weeks of embarrassing questions on the handing
of detainees in Afghanistan. I am not convinced they'd be doing worse,
but it is possible.
The point is, unless you are certain that they would not have been
doing worse, then you're on shaky ground dismissing Stephen Harper for
finally overplaying his hand.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Update: the full video is here.
Monday, January 11, 2010
bag for purposes of searching they will not record that you have a
phone in your bag. The reason? Because their ground staff can access
the list and cannot be trusted to not look for the bag with the
intention of stealing said phone. This inspires great confidence.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
And why wouldn’t they? The RCMP lies about everything. They lied about APEC. They lied about the name a six-year-old gave to a puppy in a contest. And they lied over and over again to Paul Kennedy.Remember this: our national police force is one that, if you you were in a state of delirium and confusion in a foreign land, would presume the first thing to do is electrocute you. Not tase you, to use that awful non-verb. They would run current through your body before they tried to calm you, before they tried to ascertain the nature of your problem, and before they considered whether you were really a threat. Our national police force is scared of staplers.
And remember this: after killing you, they'd do the disservice of traveling to your home country to sniff around to see if you have a criminal past. Apparently, RCMP officers can smell a criminal. No need for due process here.
Remember this also: if one of the same ran you down in his car drunk he'd make up a story about leaving the scene of the accident to have two shots of vodka before returning. And he'd get away with it, save for a charge of obstructing justice.
This is too much for a civilized society to take. This is not about whether you know a police officer who is a good person and a kind father. You likely do, as I certainly do. It's not about whether police officers are good most of the time. It's about whether it's appropriate for them to behave as they have when they are at their worst. They ought not. Gary Mason is right. It's time to put an end to this.