Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Read this story

... and remember it when you're tempted to be cynical about humanity.

A great story

Quote of the day

On Elisabeth Hasselbeck:

It must be hard to be both pro-war and pro-life at the same time and still look so perky that early in the morning. It’s as if she doesn’t lose a wink of sleep over it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Priceless - if you know Canadian politics

This video makes me laugh, cringe, and blush

A Brighter Day Will Come

I think this is the best Obama music video I've ever seen:

From the archives

Several weeks ago, I finally added one of my Paul Simon CDs to my iPod. Now, every time I listen to "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover", I think it doesn't get enough play these days. Enjoy:


Jackie and Luc's Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Wendy asked for this recipe, so I thought I'd share it with everyone. It's delicious!

You will need:

  • 2 red peppers
  • 3/4 (three-quarters) of a cup of feta cheese (the fresher the better)
  • 1 tsp red win vinegar
  • pinch of cayenne (or more, depending on your preferences)
  • pinch of salt
Road the red peppers 15 - 20 minutes until they are fairly blackened. (I put them on a tray in the oven at 400F. I cover the tray with aluminum foil because the peppers will drip and the drippings, being high in sugar, will blacken and be hard to remove.)

When the peppers have been roasted, put them in cold water and peel their skins from them. Remove the stem, seeds, and veins. Coarsely chop the peppers and blend them in a food processor with all the other ingredients.

Serve chilled with pita bread that has been cut up into triangles for dipping.

This dip should keep for about a week (if properly refrigerated, of course).


Republicans for Obama

Get the cool backstory on this video here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gasp! Not a political post!!!

This song has become my new favourite in the past week:

UPDATE: Lyrics are here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Holy cow

Look at the picture here. This is in a supposedly "red" state.


Who looks presidential now?

Palin as preznit

Funny website - check it out! Be sure to mouse over various parts of the picture, and click on things when your mouse cursor changes.

All about Biden

So Barack Obama's pretty awesome, isn't he? That guy is as cool as they come, and I cannot wait until he is the president of those United States.

How about Joe Biden? Do you know his story? He's pretty amazing too. If you don't know his story, here's a video of his son Beau introducing him and telling his story:

This short video is about Joe Biden's wife, Jill, but I think it indirectly says a lot of about Biden himself - the way he proudly introduces his wife as having a doctorate in education, and the way his son Beau is brought to tears calling Jill his "Mom":

(You can learn more about Jill Biden here - she is very cool too!)

Biden gets choked up in the VP debate recalling his family's tragedy

The day after his debate with Sarah Palin, Biden attended the deployment ceremony of his son, Beau, who, as a member of the National Guard, is being deployed to Iraq. The photo at the top of this diary pulls at my heartstrings.

These really are remarkable times in which we live, and some amazing people have stepped forward in this time of need. I think Joe Biden is one of the best, and I will be thrilled when he becomes vice president.

Obama/Biden '08!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Hat-tip to ZenDenizen!

A website for you to add to your favourites

Have you heard about Margaret and Helen? They are American octagenarians who blog. Seriously. It is ridiculously awesome, and you should read it.

Exhibit A:

Did any of you watch the news shows this weekend? And I am not talking about Troopergate because everyone saw that coming. I’m talking about the video from the McCain rallies. Clearly we now have proof postive that you shouldn’t sleep with your cousin.

My hat’s off to McCain for trying to set the record straight about Obama not being an Arab, but what does it say about his judgment that he handed a live microphone to Ma and Pa Kettle in the first place? I mean what truck and tractor pull was cancelled to make room for that stop on the Straight Talk Express?

Now THAT'S some straight talkin', my friends ...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Amazing story on the new paradigm of leadership

Almost three years ago, I attended a leadership seminar at which Carly Fiorina was one of the speakers. Yes, she supports John McCain, and was one of his leading surrogates until she admitted on camera that neither Sarah Palin nor John McCain were qualified to be a CEO of a corporation. However, a lot of what she had to say about leadership three years ago made a lot of sense (maybe they were her ideas, maybe they weren't; I don't know). Here are a few points from the notes I made back then:

  • She said that as we’ve entered the 21st Century, we’ve entered unchartered territory.Up to and including the 20th Century, leadership was vertical, or “mechanical.Information went up the vertical chain of command, and orders went back down it.This was inefficient, because it meant that the leader was responsible for knowing everything that was going on among the rank and file, and for arranging for the transfer of information between groups that eventually reported up to him/her.
  • In academia today, the greatest innovations and breakthroughs now come through collaboration between different departments (I forget the example she used, but it was something like biology and mechanical physics).Today’s problems are more complex, and therefore horizontal collaboration (vs. vertical chain of command) is more important.
  • Important questions yet to be answered in the 21st Century: How do we share information/power? How do we enforce accountability?
This perspective on leadership fascinated me because I realized for the first time why the traditional management styles of the organizations in which I'd worked were so limited.

And tonight I've found an inspiring example of how this new paradigm of leadership has been successfully applied. You may not support Barack Obama, but this is really interesting reading. And if you get through the article and see how he's organised his campaign, you just might be converted into believing he should be running the United States.


Monday, October 13, 2008

About farm animals

Do you really think about your food? Wonder about what kind of a life it had before it became a cellophane-wrapped package in your grocery store?

On November 4th, the citizens of California will be voting on a measure to legislate humane treatment of farm animals. This is important stuff, folks. Not just because animals in factory farms must suffer unimaginable levels of hell, but it also makes sense from a food safety perspective:

  • Food animals who are treated well and provided with at least minimum accommodation of their natural behaviors and physical needs are healthier and safer for human consumption.
  • Due to the large numbers of animals confined in close quarters in typical factory farms, there are many opportunities for animals to be infected by several strains of pathogens, leading to increased chance for a strain to emerge that can infect and spread in humans.
  • Practices that restrict natural motion, such as sow gestation crates, induce high levels of stress in the animals and threaten their health, which in turn may threaten human health.

Honestly, watch this video and try to tell me that this isn't the right thing to do in California and all across North America.

I'm a staunch vegetarian partly for animal rights issues. I know there is some irony in asking for farm animals to have a healthy environment in which to grow before they're taken away for slaughter, but I see it as progress. I think it demeans and debases us as a people when we turn a blind eye to the suffering of another animal, regardless of how detached we may feel from agriculture. To do anything else is to be complicit in the abuse.

If you wouldn't allow a dog or a cat to be treated in this way, how is a cow, pig, or chicken any different?

Disgusting allegations from a bona fide crackpot

First, let me say that THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING MUSLIM. Or an Arab. They are people just like you and me, with families and hopes and dreams.

Nonetheless, there are people like the woman in this video who - in ignorance and due to hateful propaganda - are afraid of Muslims and Arabs. And there are also people who are claiming that Barack Obama is secretly an Arab or a Muslim, and has plans to somehow turn the U.S.A. into a Muslim nation when he is elected president.

Where does this crap come from? And who's pushing it??? The New York Times investigates:

Until this month, the man who is widely credited with starting the cyberwhisper campaign that still dogs Mr. Obama was a secondary character in news reports, with deep explorations of his background largely confined to liberal blogs.

But an appearance in a documentary-style program on the Fox News Channel watched by three million people last week thrust the man, Andy Martin, and his past into the foreground. The program allowed Mr. Martin to assert falsely and without challenge that Mr. Obama had once trained to overthrow the government.

While Andy Martin is definitely the story here, I don't want you to miss the fact that Fox "News" gave this idiot a platform to spew his false information, and did not challenge it. But back to Martin:

He is a law school graduate, but his admission to the Illinois bar was blocked in the 1970s after a psychiatric finding of “moderately severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character.”

Though he is not a lawyer, Mr. Martin went on to become a prodigious filer of lawsuits, and he made unsuccessful attempts to win public office for both parties in three states, as well as for president at least twice, in 1988 and 2000. Based in Chicago, he now identifies himself as a writer who focuses on his anti-Obama Web site and press releases.

Now I know right now you're probably thinking to yourself, "But I thought Republicans hate people who are constantly suing other people!" I guess it depends on whether they feel they have something to gain. But honestly, this man is as repulsive as they come:

In another motion, filed in 1983, Mr. Martin wrote, “I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did.”

In an interview, Mr. Martin denied some statements against Jews attributed to him in court papers, blaming malicious judges for inserting them.

But in his “48 Hours” interview in 1993, he affirmed a different anti-Semitic part of the affidavit that included the line about the Holocaust, saying, “The record speaks for itself.”

So if or when someone sends you an e-mail stating or implying that Barack Obama has some kind of secret Muslim or radical agenda, please think long and hard about who the source may be.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another one just for me

Again, not suggesting you watch this video, as it is kind of long. But I do find it uplifting. My favourite parts are at the 3-minute and 9-minute points.

You don't have to watch this one

I am just putting it here so I can always find it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dangerous times

Betty White is a goddess!

Stories like this

... are why I am still hopeful about this world, and about the U.S. in particular.

Please sign this Avaaz petition for financial crisis response!

Dear [Avaaz] friends,

Over the next 48 hours, the world's leading finance ministers are meeting to thrash out our response to the financial crisis. Instead of bailing out reckless financiers again, we need a buy-in that gives us public ownership and strict new regulations to fix this broken system for good! --

Watching the markets freefall, we know this crisis will utterly change our daily lives -- we're not just spectators any more, and we’re seeing something new –- people and governments directly intervening in the chaos that until now was controlled by reckless and greedy financiers.

Today and all weekend, extraordinary choices will be made by the world’s most powerful finance ministers, meeting to decide our response to the financial crisis. Together, we must make sure that governments don’t just use our money to bail out the banks, but claim a share of public ownership in these institutions for our future, and oversight powers to fundamentally fix the wider system.

We'll deliver our call for a global buy-in package in 36 hours to G7 finance ministers and again to a bigger Global Crisis Summit planned for November -- please sign the petition at the link below, and forward this email to everyone you know. The decisions made this week will shape our lives for years to come:

Three weeks ago our petition to regulate global finance was waved by Denmark's former prime minister as the European Parliament voted.[1] Two weeks ago our US members bombarded Congress with phone calls for a buy-in not a bailout -- investing in the banks so they stop choking off capital, while giving the public a share for their money and the power to fix the system -- and yesterday, as Britain launched a bold buy-in of its own, word is the United States might finally change course.[2]

Only concerted action by the global community can build a better system, and we can't leave it to the financiers -- so today, we're launching an emergency campaign calling on leaders for a global public rescue to save all our economies. This is what's needed -- a 'buy-in' to financial institutions not a reckless 'bailout', massive public investment stimulus to stave off global depression, temporary guarantee of loans/deposits, and strict new regulations to fix this broken system once and for all.[3] It's a sensible and public-spirited package supported by progressives and expert economists alike -- add your name here:

Leading economists now agree that citizens and our governments are the only force powerful enough to solve this crisis -- only the public can mobilise the investment and oversight needed to fix the financiers' failings, get the economy moving and revive things on a sounder basis. The Great Depression of the 1930s teaches us that we cannot address this crisis with each acting alone -- only by acting together can countries head off disaster.

How we respond to this crisis will shape our lives for years to come. We're still a long way from tackling the fundamental problems of the global economy, but the tide is moving in our direction. So let's take control of our future in the interests of people not financiers, and raise a worldwide voice across borders for a global public rescue. 3.4 million of us in every nation of the world will get this email -- that's a start. Click below to sign, forward this email to all your friends and family, and let's raise a voice our leaders can't ignore:

With hope and determination,

Paul, Ricken, Graziela, Pascal, Veronique, Iain, Brett, Milena and the whole Avaaz team

PS Congratulations to all those who supported our phone and email campaign on Europe's climate and energy package this week -- it was a stunning victory, we won 95% of what we wanted and our sources say we made a big difference. More soon!


1. Winning the vote on financial oversight and regulation in the European Parliament with Denmark's Poul Rasmussen:

Rasmussen's Parliament speech:

2. New York Times and NYU economist Paul Krugman on the UK plan and US shift:

"This would essentially be the plan supported by most economists":

3. 18 leading economists from across the political spectrum and around the world -- "Rescuing our jobs and savings: what G7/G8 leaders can do":


ABOUT AVAAZ is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Sydney and Geneva.

Click here to learn more about our largest campaigns.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Unbelievable, but hilarious

Via, this story and video:

After the [vice presidential] debate started ... volunteers [were] swarming out of the McCain staff room. These volunteers all wore orange hats and they ran around the media center distributing blue sheets of paper with opposition research on it. Well, usually that's what they had:

For Jason

Because Jason wanted more from the Republican side:

Too awesome

Note to self: never - NEVER - piss off David Letterman.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

One of the craziest things I've ever seen

Have I posted this already?

For Vitaly

One-stop shopping for my friend Vitaly!

It's interesting to see these clips all together, just to compare the changes in her confidence and bravado.

Sarah Palin poetry

"On Good and Evil"

It is obvious to me
Who the good guys are in this one
And who the bad guys are.
The bad guys are the ones
Who say Israel is a stinking corpse,
And should be wiped off
The face of the earth.

That's not a good guy.

More here.


Here's one rape survivor's response.

Update: Sarah Palin had Wasilla buy $24000 SUV for her (while mayor) AT THE SAME TIME her government was charging victims for their own rape kits!