Talk about screwing up big time, I certainly hope the people of New Hampshire vote these assholes out.

In the spirit of learning by doing, students drafted a bill to learn the process of how a bill becomes law. They proposed House Bill 373, an act establishing the Red Tail Hawk as the New Hampshire State Raptor. Even though it passed through the Environment and Agriculture committee with a majority vote, some representatives were far from receptive.

Rep. Warren Groen, a Republican from Rochester said, “It grasps them with its talons then uses its razor sharp beak to basically tear it apart limb by limb, and I guess the shame about making this a state bird is it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood.”

Source: NH1

And to make things worse, the House voted down the bill promoted by the kids right in front of them! Shame on these politicians, we should encourage the young to participate in politics but then again I guess young people voting is a poison to one particular party…

Go Senator Warren!

Some of my friends ask me why I pay attention to US politics so closely and the reason is because whatever happens in the US affects the rest of the world whether we like it or not.  I wish there were more politicians like Senator Elizabeth Warren, she truly is looking out for the average person and has a lot of special interest groups worried about their sweet heart deals.

It’d be awesome if she became President but at the same time she may be more useful as a Senator…

It’s only a few minutes long and worth a watch for everyone whether you’re an American or not.  Unfortunately the right wing economic policies like lower taxes on the rich and corporations has infected Canada.

US right wing crazy ideas are here…

I’ve been saying it for a long time, the crazy right wing ideas from the US are coming here to Canada.  First it was doctors that won’t prescribe birth control and now a Tory MPP has said publicly that he doesn’t believe in evolution and said in a debate at Queens Park that it’s “not a bad idea” to opt out of teaching evolution in schools.

When Progressive Conservative MPP Rick Nicholls shouted in the legislature that it’s “not a bad idea” to stop teaching evolution in schools, he wasn’t kidding.

The off-the-cuff remark during a heated debate over the new sex education curriculum landed Nicholls (Chatham-Kent-Essex) in hot water with Conservative colleagues and left him ridiculed by others.

“It obviously didn’t help our position,” said Interim Conservative Leader Jim Wilson, who has frequently blamed his party for poor decisions that led to four successive election defeats by the scandal-plagued Liberals.

But Nicholls stood by his line when asked about it Wednesday.

“For myself, I don’t believe in evolution,” Nicholls told reporters.

Source: The Star

If the West (and Canada) wants to keep its technological and scientific lead in the world, we need to teach children science whether it gets in the way of religious beliefs or not. I’m at a loss for words at the stupidity of MPP Nicholls and I hope his constituents realize that he’s a retard.

Time to act Ontarians!

Good on the Toronto Star for bringing this up, I feel ashamed to say that I follow politics on all levels here in Canada and didn’t know about this.

Long-term care is big business. Money politics is also big business in this province — a place where time is money, and a minister’s time is worth a lot of money.

That’s how it still works in Ontario, the Central Canadian province that remains the Wild West of fundraising in this country.

The Hoskins event is a reminder that without any rules to ban corporate and union contributions, all three parties keep cashing in on the desire of powerful interests to influence the party in power. In between elections, the governing party profits most; but just ahead of elections, when companies and unions hedge their bets, the opposition parties also get their take.

Source: The Star

This is definitely a problem and you can bet I’m going to write (an actual letter) my MPP to relay my displeasure at that!  Money and politics do not mix and this is how business and the rich buy the government, please do your part and get involved as well because it’s important to get whoever governs the province to ban contributions from unions and corporations!

This would be funny if it weren’t real…

So the Democratic leaning Public Policy polling firm released a poll that says Louisiana Republicans blame President Obama more than President Bush for Hurricane Katrina…  That’s great, Katrina hit in 2005 at the start of W’s second term while Obama was still in his first year as a senator.

Twenty-eight percent said they think former President George W. Bush, who was in office at the time, was more responsible for the poor federal response while 29 percent said Obama, who was still a freshman U.S. Senator when the storm battered the Gulf Coast in 2005, was more responsible. Nearly half of Louisiana Republicans — 44 percent — said they aren’t sure who to blame.

Source: TPM

The polling firm is Democratic leaning but I mean I don’t think Republicans need to anyone to help them look stupid.

We need more politicians like this

I guess it should be no surprise but I really like Bernie Sanders.  I wish we had more straight shooting politicians like this in the world, it certainly would be a better place.

Trickle down economics or supply side economics doesn’t work, if it did the US (and Canada) would be swimming in jobs as the tax rates are at the lowest point ever. Mr. Sanders is correct, businesses don’t hire people because they have more money or because taxes are lower, there needs to be demand to justify it. Sales drives the economy and in order to promote sales, you need a thriving middle class.

Sigh, unfortunately our politicians in power have bought into this supply side crap (even though it doesn’t work) and people like Mr. Sanders seem “extreme”. I always tell my younger staff that politics matters and to pay close attention to what the politicians say.

For the record I hated supply side economics before it was cool. 😉

What now?

So I have been talking to some friends & family about the events in France and I’m rather surprised by some of the responses.  But before I get to that I’d like to say hopefully with the terrorists dead, the families of those who were slain can grieve.  I think as a society we need to ask ourselves, what do we really believe and are we willing to curtail some freedoms for security?  Just like with the hack and threats that were made surrounding the movie The Interview, I firmly believe that the answer to that is no because if we give in now, the terrorist of tomorrow will ask for more.

Freedom of expression is a sacred right, while I may not agree with what is being said I wouldn’t stifle someone else’s right to free speech (as long as it’s not directly threatening to someone).  Sometimes it’s distasteful, other times it can be down right hate filled but in order to live in a free society, that’s what we sometimes have to endure.  Really, if Muslims want the right to protest things like the video Innocents of Muslims, then in turn it should allow others to do what they want.  Blasphemy is a sin in all religions and the punishment is always suppose to be severe but no one actually practices that anymore.

Myself I probably pick on Christians more so than any other group (it’s the largest religion here in Canada & in the Western world), there’s nothing that’s off limits and they’re not killing people for insulting Jesus.  If one wants to focus on Islam, so be it really is the religion or the “prophet” so easily insulted that it requires human intervention?  Wouldn’t being damned for eternity be enough?

In the next little while the governments around the world will use the French attacks to justify curtailing even more rights from its citizens and it’s important that you stand up and say “no I will not trade security for freedoms and I do not want to live in a police state”.

I’m sorry to any Muslim friends who were hurt by my rant below, offence was not my intention.  You should know I do not have hate in my heart, that I am a man of reason (I try to be anyway) and that I dislike all forms of organized religion.  Let’s not focus on who said what and instead focus on how we can make the world a better place tomorrow.

Mark this day…

So as I ranted about a few days ago, the Wall Street bank rider attached to the congressional spending bill passed the House, it’s expected to pass the US Senate and President Obama and that means it’ll be only time before we have another bank crisis…  This deregulates the $700 trillion derivatives market and allows the bank to use government insured client money to bet on anything they want.

A year ago, Mother Jonesreported that a House bill that would allow banks like Citigroup to do more high-risk trading with taxpayer-backed money was written almost entirely by Citigroup lobbyists. The bill passed the House in October 2013, but the Senate never voted on it. For months, it was all but dead. Yet on Tuesday night, the Citi-written bill resurfaced. Lawmakers snuck the measure into a massive 11th-hour government funding bill that congressional leaders negotiated in the hopes of averting a government shutdown. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the legislation.

Source: MotherJones

Americans should be absolutely outraged at this, this means the banks can once again gamble with your hard earned savings and if things go bust so be it, it’s all backed up by the federal government!  Again this is privatized profits and socialized losses, if there are no risk to the banks bottom line it’s in their interests to bet on the riskiest things hoping for a big score.  Who cares right, they ain’t covering the losses…  Boggles the mind how Congress can think this is ok and that the American electorate just lets this happen.

Worst of all this crap will infect the rest of the world’s financial markets, just like it did with the previous crash god I hope I stash away enough money to weather that coming storm.

Stand for something

I know I post a lot about American politics but yeah I care because as I’ve said before what happens there affects the rest of the world. NY mayor Bill de Blasio posted a bit of a rant on Huffington Post and I couldn’t agree more…

This year, too many Democratic candidates lost sight of those core principles — opting instead to clip their progressive wings in deference to a conventional wisdom that says bold ideas aren’t politically practical.

To working people, it showed Democratic weakness — a weak commitment to the change desperately sought by struggling families, and a weak alternative to a Republican philosophy that has held America back.
Source: Huffington Post

The Democratic party (and the progressive parties in Canada) should stand on principle. When the Democratic candidates ran as Republican-lites, all they do is demotivate their base from voting and you can be sure that Republicans won’t be swayed to vote Democratic when they have one of their own running… Just like the train wreck of a campaign Senator Mary Landrieus has been running, yeah trying to pass the Keystone XL bill through the Senate (so glad it failed) that your opponent passed in the house is a sure fire way of getting Republicans to vote for her.

Hopefully they learn to be the progressive party in 2016.

Dead on

This is definitely one thing that drives me up a wall…

When politicians say “I’m not a scientist,” it is an exasperating evasion. It’s a cowardly way to avoid answering basic and important policy questions. This response raises lots of other important questions about their decision-making processes. Do they have opinions on how to best maintain our nation’s highways, bridges, and tunnels—or do they not because they’re not civil engineers? Do they refuse to talk about agriculture policy on the grounds that they’re not farmers? How do they think we should be addressing the threat of ISIS? They wouldn’t know, of course; they’re not military generals.
Source: Richard Dawkins Foundation

Haha anyone reading my blog for the first time probably thinks I have a lot of rage (I guess you could argue that) but we don’t expect our elected leaders to be experts in everything however they should defer to the expert opinions when making a judgement call. If one is truly uninformed about climate change then ask scientists what their thoughts are as they’re the experts and you’ll quickly find that the overwhelming majority feel that it’s an urgent matter that needs to be dealt with immediately!

It’s disgusting and absolutely unacceptable for politicians to fake ignorance on such important matters.