Here’s how our political cartoonists viewed the nation this week…
Monthly Archives: February 2010
Wherein We Explain a la Glenn Beck
The only time I tuned into the Glenn Beck Show on that news network President Obama foxily doesn’t take questions from, he was railing on about Hitler, communisim, socialism and Obama and somehow all 4 things were connected. Uh-huh. Okay. Who is this guy, and why is he seemingly so popular. Well let’s take a look at Glenn Beck in only a way Glenn Beck might take a look.
To pass on many of his cautionary tales he uses a simple little aid… used by many a school teacher with his pupils…a chalkboard.
But it’s not an original television concept. Back in the early 70s my wee ones and I used to watch…
And long before Glenn Beck came along we watched another popular television philosopher and political force. Glenn Beck not only chose to imitate his m.o. but his hairstyle, too..
Now since Glenn Beck started using the chalkboard to talk down to America, others have imitated him – although in this case I don’t think it’s the highest form of flattery.
South Park, Saturday Night Live and Jon Stewart have all had a go at him…
And yet Mr Beck has a substantial following, proving as recently as last week’s CPAC convention he can keep an audience enthralled. There are other views though…
And there you have it. Told in true Glenn Beck fashion. No further ahead than when we began!
Own the Toilet’s More Like It
Here in the “great white north” some numb skull came up with a program called Own The Podium. The idea was to financially support Canadian winter athletes and their coaches to the tune of $118 miliion – half of which was supplied by the taxpayer – with the goal of winning more medals than any other country at the 2010 winter Olympics.
The problem with the program apart from its ridiculously self-aggrandizing moniker was that it mounted an elaborate marketing campaign to tell everyone this was what it was doing – going to “own” the podium – whipping Canadians into an overly-optimistic frenzy. Hey we’re Canadians. Canadians are nice guys. Nice guys finish last and sometime second and third and maybe on a good day, on a hill with no snow, first.
Organizers now admit we won’t be owning the podium. Duh. What was your first clue? In the standings yesterday Canada stood 5th with 9 medals. Our competition to the south had stolen our podium with 24. You know Own The Podium gives new meaning to downhill. Indeed, more than downhill it’s gone right down the toilet. Small wonder making the rounds on Twitter is the suggestion the program should be called Own the Imodium.
The hopes and wallets of Canadians across the country had been lifted. We were to expect gold medals in downhill racing, speed-skating and so on. Often our athletes finished right out of the medals in some of these events. And what’s to become of our men’s hockey team? These guys are professionals. They earn on average over $5 million a year. And they can’t even beat the Americans.
Canadians aren’t chest-thumpers. We’re reserved and polite. A more appropriate name for the program?
Here’s hoping we get to the podium, eh?
Let’s all cross our fingers we win a medal.
But Own The Podium? That’s like Stephen Harper saying “majority government”.
WELL SHUT MY MOUTH BUT PASS THE CRAP!
by Uni Blogger
In one of the ironies those with no sense of the ridiculous fail to recognize, Steven Fletcher, the junior minister responsible for democratic reform in Canada has refused to make public the briefing notes he received when appointed to his current position. Why is this an irony? Well, the whole notion of democratic reform is to open to public view the process and reasons for government decision-making. It is difficult to square the concept of open democracy with the secretive actions of this government. Many would say that this gang is out and out obstructionist when it comes to open government and democratic reform. Although once caught red-handed, like the recent aide to the Public Works Minister debacle, the Prime Minister’s Office has been known to issue memos to Ministers not to interfere in the Access to Information process. But it’s all for show. In fact, in terms of governance and organizational behaviour, our government leaders today seem to be devolving from rational to instinctual behaviours that are more likely to found in an apiary than in a democratically constituted house of parliament.
For those unfamiliar with the operations of present day federal politics, think of the House of Commons as a large group of beehives with each hive headed by a queen bee, or (for the purposes of this analogy) a member of parliament or minor functionary such as a junior minister. Bigger hives are led by full ministers. For example one huge queen bee is the Minister of Transport, John Baird. A minor, but very irritatingly loud queen bee is Pierre Poilievre, parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister who is of course, the head queen bee although word has it amongst the other bees that he wishes to be known as King Bee.
Supporting all of these high-stature bees are thousands of worker bees. In the animal kingdom, these workers are called drones and they flit about collecting and digesting various material which is eventually puked out and consumed by their queens. In Ottawa, the thousands and thousands of drone equivalents are known as public servants and they perform a similar foraging, digesting and spewing function although due to a quirk in evolution, the spewed product comes out of a word processor and it resembles information.
It is superstitiously believed by minor queens like Fletcher and Poilievre that hoarding information will give them the strength and knowledge to eventually become big queen bees themselves. The chances of them becoming NBA stars are far more likely. In the bee world, when an aspirant to big queen status fails, she is devoured by the drones and that’s the end of her story. In the parliamentary hive, failure means that the phone will never ring again resulting in the gradual wilting and then disappearance of the big-queen aspirant.
Sarah in Wonderland
You know, to my way of thinking, one should be suspect of a political organization that calls itself a Tea Party. I think they’ve opened themselves to ridicule. I mean, when I think of Tea Party I think of Alice in Wonderland. How’d you like to belong to a political entity that’s best known for falling down a rabbit hole?
And that’s exactly what they did earlier this month. The so-called Tea Party held a convention in Nashville and their key speaker was, if you’ll excuse me, one Mad Hatter. In attendance, I think, were several cheshire cats, a hookah smoking caterpiller or two and the rest of her Fox News confreres.
But I digress.
In a move clearly aimed at taking a swipe at President Obama, Sarah Palin derided both his platform and his pulpit. First, in her speech, Palin cried out to her supporters “How’s that hopey, changey stuff wokin’ out for ya?” With the economy in the dumps, health care on the rails, and a recent electoral loss in Massachusetts the rhetorical question elicited a predictable response. And while the line may have been in keeping with her folksy – aw-shucks – mom of a single-teenage-mom – if it’s good for America I’ll run for president – image , her next move was not.
It was more in keeping with a high school student who hadn’t studied for her final exam. In a question and answer session following the speech it was clearly evident Alice, er, ah, Palin had written notes to herself on the palm of her hand, to which she clearly had to refer.
Photos show she’d written the words “energy, taxes, lift America’s spirits”. Things wouldn’t have been so bad if she hadn’t moments before criticized Obama for using a teleprompter when he speaks.
The telepromper has been around since the 50s and a long line of Presidents have used them beginning, apparently, with Eisenhower.
I’m not sure how many Presidents, or Presidents-to-be have written on their hands.
If Sarah Palin really is going to run for President in 2012, she’s going to have to work for it. The office certainly isn’t going to be handed to her.