Musings —07.06.2010 10:04 AM—
- Credit where it’s due, etc.: The Harper government – and principally due to the anti-tobacco convictions of the Prime Minister, I believe – has been far tougher on Big Tobacco than the minority Liberal government that immediately preceded it. This latest move, on prohibiting flavoured cigarettes aimed at addicting children, is a great one. I have a very personal interest here, but I think it’s high time that the feds – and the provinces – also started taking legal action against tobacco companies for lost health care costs. Will they? So far, few Canadian jurisdictions have. Maybe Harper will, and lead the way.
- Conservatives fighting conservatives, etc. This one is fascinating. Since the G20 debacle, a furious debate has been raging within conservative circles, online and off. Typically pro-police and anti-protestor, some conservatives (such as Mike Brock, who is not crazy, and Mr. and Mrs. Blazing Cat Fur, who possibly are) have found themselves in the unusual position of being targeted by police during the G20 – simply for standing on a sidewalk. If what the three of them experienced is in any way true, they deserve to be upset. However, not all rightists feel that way: some, like the mouth-breathers who congregate at Small Dead Animals, have been highly critical of Brock and the Furs. Personally, I feel the latter deserve some measure of credit for playing against type, and actually championing civil liberties. As a result, they come out looking like the true free speechers.
- G20 about-face, etc. Inevitably and belatedly, Toronto police have acknowledged that they cannot and should not ever review their own conduct. Along with being utterly contrary to the rules of natural justice, their earlier insistence that “police investigate police” suggested that they knew they made some big, big mistakes on the ill-fated G20 weekend (see above), and were hoping to cover it up. Time to get at the truth. There are simply too many stories of G20 police abuse for all be false. A welcome development.
- Israel is a democracy, and others aren’t, etc. This story is both sad and encouraging all at the same time. Sad, because it makes clear that a minority of Israeli soldiers were indeed involved in highly discreditable conduct. Encouraging, because Israel is pretty much the only country in the entire Middle East that would even bother to investigate such abuses – and then, when found to exist, prosecute them to the full extent of the law. When was the last time any of the countries surrounding Israel did that? Never, pretty much.
- Ravens, crows, etc. As my kids and some friends will tell you, I am a raven/crow nut; I’m obsessed by these birds. Along with chimpanzees, some of these creatures (such as the incredible New Caledonian crow) are the most intelligent animals on the face of the planet. I have raven native art all over my apartment, and if I ever get the courage (and find a certifiably safe tattoo place in Toronto), I’m going to get Beau Dick’s Hands of Creation applied to my arm. Anyway, I digress: the discovery of a rare white raven in B.C. is a huge, huge deal, and the harbinger of much good fortune. We need it!
- The power of stories, etc. Nice column in the Winnipeg Sun, spotted only because it came up in one of those Google Alert things. As someone privileged to work for disabled adults seeking justice, I can indeed attest to this: facts tell, but stories sell.