We think of the religious right as fundamentalists, viewing the world through a narrow prism of religious doctrine. We think of people who refer to themselves as Conservatives as fundamentalists -- Stephen Harper and his party. But we rarely, if ever, consider the left-wing progressives as fundamentalists.
Millions of dollars have been channeled into framing climate change messages by intentional misuse of language so as to mislead the masses. Unfortunately misleading language is precisely what the fossil fuel industry continues to thrive on; surely "ethical oil" sounds more appealing than tar-sands oil.
This week, in his fifth State of the Union address, Obama showed every sign of no longer believing in his words. He was Hamlet, unable to make up his mind, over-trained and over-rehearsed. This Obama speech was so flat, so monotonous, so uninteresting. But Florida Senator Marco Rubio had been carefully chosen by the Republican Party bigwigs to offer the party's answer to Obama. The Republicans must be insane.
I planned to write about Christmas today. Specifically, what I want for Christmas. But it doesn't seem right when that's not at all what caught my attention this week. What's in my head and my heart, on my Facebook feed and Twitter stream, in my inbox and in so many conversations I have had is the horrors and devastation from the Newtown, Connecticut shootings of last Friday.
As an old friend who wishes nothing but the best for your country, I am worried about what one election night commentator described as the ongoing "ideological civil war" in America. In the past, after this initial polarization, there is a seeking for common ground and a coming together in order to "get things done." In recent years, however, this has not occurred. Continued polarization and conflict over the economic crisis is also of great concern to us in Canada, since our economic prosperity is very much tied to that of our largest trading partner.
It's safe to say that the virtual pop-up store is the latest and greatest. It's no wonder that with the holidays approaching Mattel and Walmart have come together to launch the first one for commuters in Toronto. The virtual toy store will run for four weeks and will provide the ultimate ease in shopping by providing images of toys and a UPC code to scan for purchase. Then the commuter/shopper goes home and waits for the delivery.
During those four years there had been much sadness, wailing and gnashing of teeth and beating of breasts in the land as the tribe's riches and power ebbed, and the people lost faith in their tribe. So therefore, many leaders did arise who did each say unto the people that he alone was strong and of good courage and should be their leader to lead them out of the slough of despond and into the land of milk and honey...
Most of us are relieved the U.S. election is over -- listening to the hyperbole of the campaign for so many months has been difficult even for Canadians who don't hear the ads and don't have the same emotional reaction to the candidates. But there are some lessons to be learned for non-politicians working on their personal brands.
At the end of the day, this "close" election was not really that close. While the race was closer than 2008, Romney's routes to victory proved limited and, ultimately, impossible. The outcome of this election will likely raise serious questions about the influence of the right wing Tea Party in the Republican Party.
Imagine the following scene with me, if you will: Marine One lands amid a fury of fireworks in the middle of Grant Park in Chicago. President Obama is wearing a full flight-suit as he struts from the LZ up onto a stage already occupied by Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z. As he makes his way behind the podium, George Clooney unveils a giant "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" banner.
A successful Obama presidency -- one that trims the debt, shrinks the deficit, reforms entitlements, and spurs GDP growth is one dangerously likely to revive the old Canadian demons of insecurity and inferiority. Regardless of how much it may satiate our fiscal interests, an economically resurgent America almost certainly means a return to second-place status for this country.
As a voter there are reasons to cast a ballot for either President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, but as a parent I honestly can't imagine why any mother or father could vote Romney -- and honesty is the reason. Parents teach by example, by being a person who acts with honesty, forthrightness, integrity and responsibility. These are family values. They are also, of course, are the polar opposite of how Mitt Romney has run his campaign and how he would run the United States of America.
I am belatedly political -- having voted for the first time after I turned 40 -- most people don't know that about me yet all my life I have constantly heard and continue to hear this line thrown out as though the speaker originated the argument, "If you don't vote you have no right to complain." For the last decade I've certainly more than made up for lost time.
During his first debate with Mitt Romney, Barack Obama seldom looked directly at Romney. He seldom contradicted Romney. He never raised his voice to Romney. He never really challenged Romney. So what happens in the second U.S. presidential debate? OBAMA GETS HIS MOJO BACK!!! He came out bristling for a fight. This time Obama's in charge. He dominates the fight, provides the drive, the passion. This time, no deference.
Well the first debate is in the books. And I'm using the term "debate" rather loosely here. Election season brings forth probably the best reality television there is for me -- though last night was sorely lacking. Thankfully, Twitter kept it highly entertaining because if it weren't for Twitter I, along with Jim Lehrer, would have nodded off 10 minutes in.
Many Canadians are predisposed to dislike Mitt Romney. He is a Republican, and robotic even by those standards. In this land of centre-left sensibilities, such party affiliation and corporate mien often rankle. But I would urge my Canadian compatriots to reconsider. Romney is running for a foreign office, not joining your curling team, and if he can unseat President Barack Obama, the Great White North will be greater for it.
I really don't care if Clint Eastwood was stoned, drunk or at 82, just plain senile. He was the only speaker over the three nights of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, who I couldn't stop watching. Here's my professional report card on how the different speakers used the 'prompter.
The most exciting thing about the Republican convention which starts today in Tampa, is not Mitt Romney as the Presidential candidate, but Paul Ryan as his VP running mate. There's no guarantee a dynamic running mate will lead to a Romney victory come November 4, but without committed Republicans enthused and optimistic, his chances were slight to non-existent.