Sunday, July 4, 2010

The movement for a public inquiry into police actions at the recent G20 summit is growing and coming to embrace many segments of Canadian society. The basic fact is that the police refused to intervene in a mini-riot of less than 100 people but later used this incident as an excuse to go on a massive arrest binge, ending up with over 1000 peaceful protesters in custody, many of them arrested in midnight raids when they were not protesting at all. There has been great public questioning about why a riot was allowed to happen with even 3 abandoned police cars as "bait" while only people unconnected with the riot were arrested. What do you think ? Surely I've missed something in my questionnaire. If you think that another response should be added please give it as a comment below.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The game of "international financial chicken" is continuing with a three pointed struggle involving international finance, the Greek government and the population of Greece. In reality no one side can win in the sense of getting everything they want. International finance (and the EU) cannot pull the plug and let Greece sink. Sovereign default is not the sort of thing that can be risked, especially as there are other dominoes in line. The Greek government cannot afford to go fully one way or the other. It has to placate both its creditors and the populace. The ordinary Greek people, in their demonstrations, also cannot stop all austerity measures, and outside of political rhetoric they know it. Here in North America a certain naive and romantic set of leftists (mostly anarchists) see the events in Greece through rose coloured glasses. They fail to understand that rebellion without a plan is the furthest thing from revolution. Thus they read their own illusions into the events in Greece.
Molly presents this latest questionnaire so that you can give your own opinion. Have fun. It's better than having your pension cut.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Well the poll where Molly asked her readers what their favourite holiday was is long since closed. There were 21 votes, and the plurality went to "Any Holiday Is A Good Day". Close runner ups were "Halloween" and "Some Bizarre Thing Nobody else Has Heard Of". "The Next One" also got more than one vote. "Easter", "Canada Day" and "All of the Above" received none. I'm glad to see that Molly's readers are a fun loving bunch, and almost all of the choices had something going for them. Myself, I voted for Halloween. No religious nor patriotic implications and absolutely voluntary. Also no feel good speeches from politicians or other "public misfigures" whatsoever.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Freedom means different things to different people. It may be economic, personal or political. What sort of freedom a person thinks is important will undoubtedly influence what they consider "the freest country in the world". The various freedoms may be tied together, but they are not unified. A country, for instance, may have extensive "economic freedom for the business class" while being a repressive dictatorship in general and also severely limiting the 'economic freedom' of workers to struggle in their own self interest. China, of course, comes to mind.
Freedom is also not the same thing as "democracy". Switzerland is arguably the most democratic country in the world, but it is well behind many others in personal freedom, as the recent 'minaret vote' demonstrated. Neither is freedom the same thing as "equality", though the two are connected. The Scandinavian countries probably rank higher on some sort of "freedom scale" than say the USA because they are far more egalitarian and thus the "freedom to" is available to a far greater percentage of the population than in America. On the other hand there are unique things about the USA which lead one to say it is "freer" in other ways.
In any case the whole matter is quite arguable. Hence this poll. I've even added a couple of communist countries both for that tiny minority still deluded by same and for the amusement of civilized people. Then, of course, there is the "some other country" option for those who value one particular aspect of "freedom" or who have more geopolitical knowledge than I do. Feel free to write in what you mean ie "which one" as a comment on this post. Yes...we'll even accept 'Vatican City' here. this is, after all, a free speech zone.