Politician: FAIL

Here is a tweet from my Member of Parliament:

What’s worse is that this post is typical of his tweets and Facebook posts. Does he tell his constituents what he’s doing for them? No. He’d rather take shots at the party in power. So he’s giving us what he thinks are reasons to not vote for them the next time an election rolls around. What he seems not to realize is he’s not giving us any reason to vote for him.

He’s simply perpetuating how voters typically vote against candidates and parties rather than vote for them.

I’ve tried to spur conversation by adding comments like, “So what have you been working on for us lately, Rob? Anything?” and I’ve never received a reply. In fact, I’ve never seen him reply to anyone. This all despite his claiming he set himself up in social media to stay connected with his constituents.

He’s utterly clueless about how social media works. He also seems unclear about the ‘representative’ part of representative democracy. Getting replies out of him, regardless of the medium, is not easy. Even then, it’s usually of no substance whatsoever.

Rob Nicholson acts as if he represents his party first, and his constituents last. So disappointing.

Politics and stupid

Malcolm Turnbull, 2016

Lord save us from the politicians who know not of what they speak! Today’s proud entrant is Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. He seems to believe that if the government could get into all the encrypted messages his people send, all would be well. According to the Independent, he ratchets up the rhetoric:

When challenged by a technology journalist over whether it was possible to tackle the problem of criminals using encryption – given that platform providers claim they are currently unable to break into the messages even if required to do so by law – the Prime Minister raised eyebrows as he made his reply.

“Well the laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia,” he said.

So there you have it. A politician who claims that the laws of mathematics do not apply in his country.


DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Clydell Kinchen.

Inauguration, or …

The writers at the Scottish Sunday Herald wrote up their television listings with a gigantic dollop of awesome sauce. This is their description of Trump’s inauguration:

After George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) wrote on twitter, “The Sunday Herald TV Section wins today,” LisaD (@BlackDogsRule) insightfully replied, “With all due respect to The Twilight Zone, this is basically an episode of Black Mirror.” So true, Lisa, so true.

Same as it ever was

Goodness how time flies! Remember my post about the Harper Government’s creation of the ridiculous Office of Religious Freedom? That was three and a half years ago!

Since that time, I haven’t heard a peep about the Office on the news. Not one word. Granted I could have missed it, but if there were some really significant news, I strongly suspect I would have heard something. But it’s been only crickets.

So what is the Office of Religious Freedom up to today? As a separate department, nothing at all. The latest post on their Facebook page is from January. The reason for this is the Liberal Government closed the department in March1. I was thrilled with this news, but my joy is somewhat tempered. The newly created Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion is absorbing the role of the now defunct office.

There are two things I really don’t like about this new department.

The most obvious is that one of its major roles it to champion the rights of indigenous peoples, worldwide. My thinking is that Canada has far from a sparkling record of dealing with its own First Nations people, and perhaps that could be a focus before mucking about in other country’s business. Maybe, just maybe, once we have half a clue about how to deal with our own indigenous people with respect and equality, we could export that knowledge. Right now we’re hardly the people to tell others what to do.

The second is they’ve tripled the annual budget to $15 million.

I’d really like to know what these departments do. I’m sure there’s no end of talk about ‘important work’ and ‘building relationships’ but it all boils down to press releases posted at irregular intervals on a web page that no one can find. Surely they could help us understand where all that money is going if it really is important.


  1. Lee Berthiaume, “Liberals’ replacement for Office of Religious Freedom will promote broader range of rights,” National Post, 2016-05-17

Tennessee Bible veto

In April, Tennessee Governor Bill Hallam vetoed a bill that would have made the Bible the official state book of Tennessee.

Even though he believes in the Bible, Hallam gave a number of reasons for his veto:

  • Official endorsement of the Bible would violate state and federal constitutions, according to the governor and Attorney General Herbert Slatery.
  • The governor worries that passage of the bill “trivializes the Bible, which I believe is a sacred text.”1
  • He also said, “If we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, then we shouldn’t be recognizing it only as a book of historical and economic significance.”2

That last item is particularly poignant as supporters of the bill have “tried to argue the move would highlight the economic and historical impact the Bible has had on Tennessee, saying printing the Bible is a ‘multimillion-dollar industry’ for the state.”3 Talk about trivializing the Holy!

In my opinion, the first issue invalidates consideration of the next two.

Of course, with a story of this nature, it was all over Facebook, both the facts from news outlets and opinion from individuals. Among those opinions is this gem:

What a mess. Who cares about civil liberties, indeed. Religious fundamentalism concerns me a great deal, and I make no distinction between Islamic and Christian fundamentalists, the latter of which certainly includes Ms. Snider.

Replace every instance of God with Allah, and Jesus Christ with Mohammad, and the message reads true, like some screed in which ISIL is taking credit for a bombing.


  1. Joshua Barajas, “Tennessee governor vetoes bill to make Bible the official state book,” The Rundown (PBS Newshour blog), 2016-04-15.
  2. Dave Boucher, Holly Meyer and Joel Ebert, “Gov. Bill Haslam vetoes Bible bill,” The Tennessean, 2016-04-14.
  3. ibid.