Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
As of this writing, I cannot locate a complete, unedited copy of the letter written to Canadian Sen. Celine Hervieux-Payette by the McLellan family of Minnesota, or the Senator’s now-notorious response. When and if I ever do, perhaps I will find something that will cause me to change my mind. But for now, count me in the Senator’s corner because based on the information I’ve been able to get, it’s clear to me that her response was intended as satire.
Think about it. She is a Canadian politician, well-experienced in serving the government as well as what passes for the “private” sector up there. She’s been surrounded by the Canadian “you ought to do things the way I think you ought to do them” faux-European attitude for all of her six-and-a-half decades. That’s enough to drive anyone nuts. Six and a half days would be plenty enough for me, thank you very much. Yes, I chose to put ketchup on my fries when someone else would have used vinegar. Yeah, I took my coffee black when you would have had cream. Okay, my car is a five-speed stick and yours is an automatic. We make different decisions because we think differently…very perceptive of you. Now kindly butt out and mind your own business please. You know, back when my country first began presenting the case to the United Nations to authorize the invasion of Iraq, I would have found a diplomatic way of saying that…and I’m at the point where I can’t do that anymore. I can snap at people who try to make my decisions for me, and ratchet the whole conversation down into the depths of acrimony, hoisting upon my neck the albatross of guilt of having thrown the first punch. Or, I can use comedy. Ridicule the opposition. I think that’s what she did.
A Liberal senator has replied to a family in Minnesota upset about Canada’s seal hunt with a letter denouncing the United States for executing prisoners at home and killing people in Iraq.
The McLellan family had written to Canadian senators to say they cancelled a vacation in Canada because of the hunt, which they called “horrible” and “inhumane,” Montreal’s La Presse reports.
In her response, Senator C�line Hervieux-Payette said that what she finds horrible is “the daily massacre of innocent people in Iraq, the execution of prisoners � mainly blacks � in American prisons, the massive sale of handguns to Americans, the destabilization of the entire world by the American government’s aggressive foreign policy, etc.”
She said Americans are not in a position to criticize others. “They must start to look at their own behaviour, the permanent heightening of the planet’s insecurity since the election of Bush,” she told La Presse.
The family “did not choose a good cause,” she added.
Hervieux-Payette is in a little bit of a stew over this. I would expect that if she was still part of a democratically-elected body, which the Canadian Senate is not, she could take the defense often used by left-wing self-loathing American politicians when they get tripped up by their own efforts to appeal to America-hating constituents: Essentially, that defense is “hey, if nobody agreed with me, I would not be here.” As an appointed official, she is supposed to represent the party and not the people. So her party has been backpedaling from her comments like crazy, and I’m sure she’ll feel the heat somehow.
Opposition Leader Bill Graham issued a statement Friday saying those words “reflect her personal opinions and not those of the Liberal Party of Canada.”
“The Liberal Party of Canada values the friendship and commitment to democratic principles that Canada shares with the United States.”
The Liberals are sensitive about perceived anti-Americanism within the party in the wake of past controversial comments by several MPs.
Former prime minister Paul Martin banished Carolyn Parrish from the Liberal caucus after she made harsh comments about U.S. President George W. Bush. But she was a sitting MP in a government party while Hervieux-Payette is an unelected senator from the Opposition.
There was no suggestion that Hervieux-Payette’s comments might bring disciplinary action from her caucus.
Being unable to review the original letter from the McLellans, I do not know if they ‘fessed up to helping to elect President Bush, or if they even commented on this. If they did vote for this President that this Canadian senator doesn’t like, their vote came to count for nothing as Minnesota’s ten electoral votes went to the challenger. I have access to this information and I’m not a highly-experienced public servant in the Canadian Parliament, so I have to assume Hervieux-Payette knows this. Her point is just plain nonsensical.
And if the McLellans had a point, it appears that this was equally nonsensical — which I think is really what Hervieux-Payette was trying to address. At this time, the Wikipedia entry for the Canadian Senate contains very little material that supports this chamber as an influential lawmaking body that can do much, if anything at all, about seal-hunting.
The Senate is referred to as “the upper house” of Parliament, and the House of Commons “the lower house”. This does not, however, imply the Senate is more powerful than the House of Commons. Indeed, as a matter of practice and custom, the Commons is by far the dominant chamber. Although the approval of both Houses is necessary for legislation, the Senate rarely rejects bills passed by the democratically elected Commons. Moreover, the Government of Canada is responsible solely to the House of Commons; the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as he or she retains the support of the lower house. The Senate does not exercise any such control. Although legislation can normally be introduced in either house, the majority of government bills originate in the House of Commons. Moreover, under the constitution, money bills must always originate in the lower house.
Sen. Hervieux-Payette’s message to the McLellan family is clear, at least to me: What is the matter with you people? We senators are no more to blame for seal-hunting, which you detest, than you are to blame for electing this Present whom I detest. And it is no more your province to determine something is wrong with Canadian seal-hunting, which is a matter to be decided by Canada, than it is mine to determine United States policy which is a matter to be decided by the U.S.
So using sarcasm, what she’s saying is let’s all just mind our own business. You can bemoan the cute seals that are getting clubbed, just as I can decry the loss of life I think results from your country’s invasion of Iraq. You point a finger at someone else, three fingers curl around and point back at you, so to speak. This exercise of dictating what other people ought to be doing, has a predictable but little-anticipated finish, so let us not even start. To lift the quote from Joshua, the all-powerful computer in War Games, grossly out of context: “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?”
At least I think that’s what she’s trying to say.
I could very well be wrong about her intentions. But she has demonstrated these things are so…so does it even matter what her intentions were?
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