Thursday, September 21, 2006

I'm on orange alert

I'm on the laptop waiting in the departure lounge of the Orlando Airport for my Air Canada flight back to Toronto, and I'm 40 per cent for alert then usual.

As I'm reminded every five minutes by the PA, the Department of Homeland Security has raised the alert level in the United States to Orange, or High. That's the second highest level of alert, one below Red, or Severe. An Orange Alert means A High Risk of Terrorist Attacks.

Here's what the DHS recommends right now, from their Web site:

All Americans, including those traveling in the transportation systems, should continue to be vigilant, take notice of their surroundings, and report suspicions items or activities to local authorities immediately. Everybody should establish an emergency preparedness kit as well as a communications plan for themselves and their family, and stay informed about what to do during an emergency situation.

I don't have an emergency kit. In fact, I just finished the last of my Cherry Diet Coke so as to not bring any liquids onboard my flight. I am keeping my eyes open though, and after a careful scan of the lounge I don't see anyone suspicious looking. I didn't shave this morning though, so hopefully no one has any doubts about me.

Perhaps it's this high level of alertness that has me calling BS on this Bob Rae donations non-story. Who gives a crap? So the guy gave a few hundred bucks to some old colleagues. Can't a guy give a little help to his friends? If a friend of mine ran for, shudder, the Conservatives I'd drop them a donation, although probably not my vote. I have a lot of other much better policy reasons not to vote for Bob, this story is just silly.

Again, I say, back to the issues please. I'm really getting tired of this marathon leadership race. As it goes on, there seems to be more and more of these stupid non-stories attempting to smear different candidates. Is it December yet?

I see in the Globe Canada's PM is also down in the U.S., and yesterday was talking tough in New York on the identity card issue and the Arctic, pledging to strongly defend Canadian interests. I've had enough of Paul Martin trying to score domestic political points by attacking the Americans, and to do it in New York is just not respectful. Oh, wait, the PM was Stephen Harper. Sorry, my bad.

Well, we're boarding our lovely Embraer plane soon (it kicks Bombardier's ass I'm sorry to say). I leave with this question. On my car to the airport at an ungodly hour this morning the radio played a song, and one of the lyrics was "I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free." As Canadians then, I wonder, are we:

a) Free, but we don't know it?
b) Not free, but we don't know it?
c) Not free, and we do know it?
d) extremely polite hockey fans?

Something to ponder.

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7 comments:

Cerberus said...

Well, I think the point is that Rae has said he severed ties but hadn't fully, that he was helping out (admittedly just a bit, these were small amounts) NDP in very tight races when he is saying now that he didn't put a sign up on his lawn because he had to remain "neutral" and was, as reported, "thrilled" with the results.

This is a non-story on its own. But Rae is the one that called himself the "professional politician" and that seems to mean that he will shift with the wind and that winning is everything.

Take the constitution for example. Up until Ignatieff said that someday we should think about talking about the constitution again and recognize that Quebec is a nation within a country, Rae had been saying the exact same thing, that Quebec is a nation within a country and it is imperative to recognize that in the constitution. At least he was saying that clearly in French throughout the campaign and up until August. Speaking to English audiences, he has been a bit vaguer.

What I like about Dion is that he is a tiger. Look at the Clarity Act fight: he was unwavering. You know where he stands on issues. That's what I like about Ignatieff too: it would be easy to do the political thing and try to say he didn't really support the war in Iraq or that he was misunderstood on the constitution/nation or to not vote in favour of Afghanist extension; but he speaks out and holds firm to his beliefs and accepts that that may lose him some votes.

The party needs real leadership like Dion and Ignatieff if we are ever to get the trust back from Canadians. Because of Conservative propaganda and partly our own 13 year history, Canadians now think we'll say anything to get elected and then ignore what we said.

That's a big part of why Dion and Ignatieff are my #1 and #2.

Cerberus said...

To finish off the thought.

I would prefer that policies and issues be the brunt of the campaign. Ignatieff and Dion (and Dryden and Kennedy to lesser extents) have been trying that.

Rae on the other hand has made "winnability" and "political experience" his campaign theme so he set up the target and to challenge him on his own campaign theme is not only not dirty but important. Especially when the same poll he touts as showing him as surging in support shows that Ignatieff far outstrips him in the "winnability" question, as most of caucus have concluded as well.

If Rae wants to make leadership his campaign focus, then it is not wrong for us to ask what kind of a leader he is and will be.

Anonymous said...

Under normal circumstances it's a non-issue, but considering he'd been approached quite some time ago and was considering being a candidate for the leadership race for the Liberal party I do think this 'smart' man should have been a little more discreet. He should know better considering the situation.

burlivespipe said...

This is an issue in only the heads of Ted and TDHuh?, the latter likely also 'Ray Daze' or 'Steve Dion' etc etc. He wasn't a member of this party. He donated small (tho not as small as my donations) to friends and colleagues. NdP and Liberal. He was actually participating in the democratic process. And for that he's being pillared.
And then you have a few 'anonymouses' toss off the 'I worked so hard doorknocking in the rain blahblahblah' with their fake indignation all to try and pop what appears to be a small Rae bubble. Is he now the frontrunner? Because that would mean, sorry to disagree with Ted, we can stop having people show the inconsistencies of Ignatieff ad nauseum (constitution reopening? Yes or maybe... My support of the War on Iraq was for the Kurds, but that WMD...) These are interesting games we play, hopefully when the dust clears and we've got our leader, people will put down their swords and pull together. I'm sure Ted and I agree on that.

Olaf said...

I see in the Globe Canada's PM is also down in the U.S., and yesterday was talking tough in New York on the identity card issue and the Arctic, pledging to strongly defend Canadian interests. I've had enough of Paul Martin trying to score domestic political points by attacking the Americans, and to do it in New York is just not respectful. Oh, wait, the PM was Stephen Harper. Sorry, my bad.

Classic. The brilliance of left wing analysis when dealing with Canada - US relations and Stephen Harper is in its simplicity. Here's the rule:

a)Bush and Harper agree = Harper Bushes lackey

b)Bush and Harper disagree = Harper manipulating public

Its so simple, which is why it's always used. I know you were just pointing out an amusing correlation, but seriously... why people spend as much time as the do trying to figure out Harper's motives is beyond me.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Ted, I'm sure you meant Ignatieff and Dion are your 1 and 2, right, and not Dion and Ignatieff as you said? If that was right though, welcome to the team! :)

Olaf, I actually agree with Harper's reported comments on the passports issue, and I'm glad he's finally talking a bit tougher on this. As you mentioned I just found it amusing that, whenever a Lib PM would make similar comments, he'd be accused by the Right of Anti-Americanism. For SH, though, it's standing up for Canada.

Me, I'm just glad he's trying standing up for Canada for a change. :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting!