Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

Contact me at revmod AT gmail.

Friday, June 11, 2010


A right-wing wacko explains why soccer is anti-American, and therefore beloved by the liberal media.  Sure does make me want to cheer for the USA side, to make tea partiers crazy.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Crazy Talk

I am almost certain that this is just nonsensical blog talk, as opposed to serious consideration.  Why the CBC is reporting this merger talk nonsense, already rejected by the leader of the Liberal party as "absurd", as anything but punditry wankage is beyond my understanding.

Calgary Grit has made the arguments and done the math, and if the only point of an NDP-Liberal merger is to win the election, well, there's no reason to believe that the merged party would accomplish that (though a Liberal-Conservative merger would be tough to beat).  (Forgive the huge poach from that post, Dan, but I think your point here needs to be widely understood.)
Let's run a quick experiment on the 2008 vote totals. Let's say 80% of the Liberal vote decides to vote for the new Liberal Democrats and their catchy Red and Orange colour scheme, 10% votes Conservative, and 10% stay home and watch American Idol. For NDP voters, I doubt the transfer would be quite as fluid - after all, the new party would be led by a Liberal and if NDP voters really cared about stopping Harper or being in power, they'd just vote Liberal in the first place. So, maybe half of them go along with the deal, a quarter vote green, and a quarter stay home. In terms of popular vote, that would actually work out to a 73% vote transfer to the new party, similar to the PC-Alliance merger rate.

So what would be the end result of this?

CPC 163 seats
LD 93 seats
BQ 50 seats
Other 2 seats

Hell, let's assume 80% of both Liberal and NDP voters join the new party, with the others just staying home - not a single former Liberal casts his or her vote for the Conservatives. The end result is still a narrow 7-seat Harper minority.
For the record, as longtime readers know, I favour the "catchy Red and Orange colour scheme".  But the rest of the merger idea is just dumb, and seems once again timed to distract from real issues dogging the Conservatives.  Could the Liberal Party be more dimwittedly self-destructive?

Edited to add: Evidentially, prominant Liberals agree with me, and are stepping hard on this foolishness.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

"But nobody else has to!"

This is the thinking, rejected by kindergarten teachers everywhere as a sign of social immaturity among their charges, that passes for Israeli foreign policy these days.  Israel is rejecting the UN's request for an investigation of Monday's flotilla raid:
An official in the prime minister's office said there is "no case in recent history" where a democratic country's army involved in the deaths of civilians in an overseas operation has been subjected to an international investigation.
Since most democratic countries' armies aren't killing civilians overseas as a rule, this may be objectively true.  But let's remind ourselves of one Canadian experience with it, which resulted in murder charges and a half-decade of national soul-searching.  So maybe, instead of telling us what they won't do, Israel's government could tell us what they will do, and maybe they could try to sound at least a little apologetic while they're at it.  Except that contrition would suggest the possibility of guilt, and it seems that the golden rule of Israel's foreign policy is to never, ever admit fault.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


So, perhaps my initial reaction was too strong, too angry, and certainly too unrealistic.  However, I've been clear enough about my feelings that I have objected to much of Israel's behavior toward its neighbours in the occupied territories and beyond over the last decade.  I've said as much on this blog on occasion.  I believe that Israel's government prefers bullying its neighbours to learning to get along with them.  I'm offended at how strongly the world believes that Iran's nuclear ambitions are a threat to world peace, but that Israel's current possession of nuclear weapons isn't, as if the former wasn't a direct result of the latter.  I haven't faced accusations of anti-Semitism, which I appreciate, and yet I've seen other more popular writers face that charge when they write similar things on their own blogs, so clearly I haven't been the staunchest defender of the current Israeli government.  In fact, watching moderates in that government being held hostage by an extreme right owning the balance of power in nearly any coalition keeps me from supporting Proportional Representation in Canada.

So what I have to say now might be dismissed as easily as the fellow interviewed by Global yesterday at the Legislature protest, who said the right things and sounded perfectly reasonable, except that he was wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh over his nose and mouth, obscuring his face, and honestly, could you look more like a scary terrorist to anyone who might have otherwise been sympathetic to what you were saying, you idiot kid?  I digress.

Israel, you're losing friends.  Some of that is for dropping on to a humanitarian aid ship in international waters, guns-a-blazing, in order to enforce a blockade that large swaths of the world are already unsympathetic toward.  But some of it is for your flat denial to acknowledge that you've done something wrong, for your attempt to portray peaceful international political activists as terrorists, and for your continued attempts to claim hatred is the only reason anyone would not unquestioningly swallow your version of events as the unvarnished truth.

There are more ships coming to run your Gaza blockade.  It is probably true that these six ships you boarded on Monday were more interested in bringing world attention to the blockade by loudly defying it than they were in delivering aid.  When the next ships come, you had better find a diplomatic solution.  No tank, no airplane, no nuclear warhead is going to guarantee your long-term security.  That comes from peace, trade, and interdependence.  Your isolation works against all of those things.