Monday, December 22, 2008

RIP Michael Connell

This is a story that we all should be tracking very closely. There have been many instances of "untimely" death in the blood-stained pages of history, but this is happening right in front of us. At the very least, let us be aware... R.I.P. Mike Connell.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Who could have known...

Great article. This is a concept that I've struggled with for a long time now... The same mistake over and over. Except, in certain cases, we have to assume that "mistake" is not the correct word. The correct word would be "theft" or "lie." You hit on every aspect of the problem. If there's a problem (financial meltdown, illegal and immoral wars, torture of detainees) usually there is a response. The response sometimes results in the criminal or civil trial of a couple dudes or dudettes and the major players disappear into the ether. That can only happen over and over due to willful ignorance. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said repeatedly that impeachment of Bush II is "off the table" and that the nation should move forward and not spend time mired in the past. We hear that one all the time; "We need to look forward and not back." Listen, all that humanity possesses is history. We experience the present and hope for the future, but we own the past. That is the only wellspring of experience and judgement that we have, so to ignore history and only "look forward" is a ridiculous concept. What is to prevent Obama or the next five Presidents from implementing policies every bit as destructive as Bush II's if Bush II is not held accountable? I'll tell you... Nothing. It's all about accountability.

The incoming Sheriffs have a duty to investigate and and prosecute, and begin the hard work of drafting new regulations for the financial industry that actually work, redefine US war policy so that it actually helps to defend America, make sure that FEMA helps people REGARDLESS of color, etc. A large part of that would be parading war criminals through the streets in a scene reminiscent of "Judgement at Nurenberg." A sitting US vice-president has admitted to approving the torture of detainees. We already know that there has been at least one death as a result of the torture policies. That blood is on Cheney's hands, among others. History (yes remember history class? this is what they were trying to teach you... always the same s**t, different epoch) may judge the US experiment in democracy as a farce, given the unlimited power of its few leaders to implement personal belief as public policy, and face virtually no retribution when those policies fail or result in tragedy. Why is there no accountability? I am seeing story after story now about all the wealthy folk who lost money to Bernie Madoff. That story shouldn't even be reported. The labor force of America, which is its only true wealth, is being decimated and has been under attack for decades. Equity has been wrung out of their hands and replaced with debt, and ever increasing work hours in a manner that has been systematic and informed. If you've actually been fortunate enough to make a large pile, then KEEP IT! Why are billionaires investing in funds solely designed to earn more money? By that I mean, did people believe in the companies that they were investing in? Did they know what the companies manufactured or provided services for? Ever visit the R&D units that their money was supposedly supporting? Investigate the companies' new products? No they didn't. They didn't care where there money was, as long as it was earning more money. Why would Spielberg's charity need or want to INVEST? No one's answering that question.

The chance for a new beginning was lost in 2006. The democrats were elected to power with the mandate to do something. They've done precisely nothing. If Bush II and his cabal can safely escape Washington, then I guarantee that in the next decades, everything we're going through now, will rear its head again. No oversight and no accountability means dishonesty, venality, and unbridled ambition, yesterday's watchword for "greed."

Monday, September 8, 2008


The remarkable power of life...
Pure musing, and only meaningful to those who follow the sport... The return of Dante Culpepper???

Friday, September 5, 2008

Machinations of Bush, the Younger

This article, "NEW BUSH RULE..." was posted on Huffington, August 21, 2008. I posted the following comments. Sandwiched between is a rejoinder from another poster, DELVINMcGEE.

My response to the actual article...

First of all, the nation was not founded on free speech. It was founded on the backs of fur traders, tobacco farmers, and slaves. Free speech was a right for which many Americans fought and died. They fought and died for many freedoms, wresting them away from a British Crown that was loath to provide them. Free speech resulted in Roe vs. Wade. The Supreme Court means that the argument is over. The only creed that a doctor must follow is "First, do no harm." That's it. There is no other moral question to be raised when considering dispensing medical care. If you are an obstetrician who has a problem performing abortions, then let me suggest that obstetrics is not for you. You help your patients in the manner that they expect, period! This proposal is like saying to cops, you only have to arrest suspects against whom you have no moral objection. If a doctor can say, I refuse to perform that procedure, and there is no way to compel them to do so, then what is the point of the Supreme Court, even the structure of laws themselves?

Candide Franklyn
September, 2008

DELVIN's Response

wow, don't you think "do no harm" might apply to the living human fetus you are killing?

And, my response to DELVIN...

Delvin, that is an interesting point. Leaving aside the somewhat simple way in which you associate "killing a living human fetus" with a human being exercising her constitutional right to privacy, I'd like to point out that the 14th Amendment was the underlying constitutional basis that secured abortion rights for women, nationally, in the US. Detailed medical research on human development combined with landmark Supreme and lower court decisions that have defined and are continuing to define US abortion law, informs women and men as to the differences between zygote or fetus, viability or not, and appropriate standards of health. Do you truly believe, leaving aside any particular personal ideology or morality, that women considering ending a pregnancy are cavalier in their intent, callously sailing into their doctor's offices with nary a care in the world? I know there is an irrational angst about the threat to the fabric of society of the "serial abortionist" but I think that sort of fear mongering amounts to nothing more than "Fear of a Black Hat." I believe these women are consumed by the process of their decision, thinking about it rationally all day, and praying about it all night. I believe they contemplate every possible outcome, in an exhaustive, emotional, meditative, passionate, and substantive manner. I believe that to accuse them of "killing a living human fetus" is a gross oversimplification of the entirety of the process.

Again, if an ob/gyn is morally opposed to performing a legal request for an abortion, believing that the process uniformly is murder, then they are going against established medical theory and case law. I'm assuming by your comment that you may be a person who holds this to be true, that what the doctor is doing is killing. This seems to presume that a person who is not born has the same rights as a person who is born. In fact the 14th amendment specifically defines citizens of the United States, as "persons born, or naturalized." Now, of course, there is always subjective interpretation. However, where does it stop? As soon as you venture into the dimly lit world of "the unborn," you're on thin ice. Men carry billions of sperm cells. Are they all persons, or some Orwellian type of "semi-persons," guaranteed rights under the constitution? I don't mean to be flip, but either this is a nation of laws or it is not. Laws proscribe limits on systems of thought as well as materialism.

One other thing... I fail to see how freedom of speech can be seen to justify an attack on fundamental rights. Congress is prohibited from "abridging the freedom of speech," a prohibition that can only serve to strengthen fundamental rights. If the government can say that that portion of the amendment can recuse a doctor from performing his bound duty to a LIVING, FULLY BORN citizen, doesn't that leave government open to some very large legal challenges of its own? Can soldiers refuse to kill the enemy, endeavoring only to capture or otherwise debilitate them? Does a judge or a juror have the right to make a decision based solely on their conscience, guaranteed by a right to speak freely? Would a poor tortured soul, who after failing at suicide, and enduring a lengthy recovery, be charged with multiple counts of attempted murder, one for each endangered reproductive cell that they carry in their body? These things don't happen regularly, and were they to occur, future case law no doubt would be defined by them. Doctors, along with all other Americans, live in a limited Republic. That res publica has already spoken, and Bush's rule, and support of it, is legally unsound. Your conscience is your own, right up until you raise your hand and swear an oath...

Candide Franklyn
September, 2008

The "MAN" is alive and well...

It's 2008. Can you believe this?


An article that caught my eye.

Comment to follow...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


All I can say on "re-direct" is YUP! The media commentary is pitiful... Perhaps the honesty of your personal sentiment should have surfaced in the public article. You told me the way you feel about democracy in three or four sentences. You just wrote an entire article that shed no light on your point of view. Maybe, you're just not a good writer...

I'd also like to point out that once again you are sadly deficient in your grasp of social politics. The thought that democracy means one vote for all and equal respect for all is unbelievably simplistic for a supposedly learned man of letters. Democracy works best as a limited Republic, in which the majority rules with the interests of the minority protected by law. No good?

Candide Franklyn

Roy MacGregor responds...

Thanks for the note. Yes, I'm serious. And while everyone knows the discrepancies with one-person one vote in both the U.S. and Canada (see PEI for our equivalent of the loopy Electoral College) I think I'm allowed to believe, as I do, that democracy should mean one vote for all and, perhaps more importantly, equal respect for all. That's what my piece is all about. I'm not a Republican. Not a fundamentalist. Don't have a vote in the presidential campaign. But I think the media commentary is pitiful.

I respect your opinion and ask only that you grant me mine.

Roy MacGregor

A Response to an article by Roy MacGregor

(The article was entitled "Pistol-packin' Palin might be just the right choice." It was published online September 3, 2008.)

Roy, are you serious? Did your editor read what you wrote today? "One person, one vote." That's what you leave your readers with? What impression are you trying to convey? The concept of "one man, one vote" does not exist in Presidential elections in the United States. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous. You completely obviate the existence of the Electoral College, and for what purpose? To endorse or at least support a presumptive Vice-Presidential nominee, who, for reasons that you yourself enumerate, is unready and unfit for national office.

The rural/urban divide is real, and a divide that should be explored through the crimson glass of politics. And, the reason that Palin's experiences do not suit her for this nomination are rooted in the chasm of this divide. America already has had enough of the "pistol-packin" vice-president. He shot a man in the face while drunk, if you remember. Palin hunts and shoots, dog sleds and cross-country skis, she snowshoes to work... Come on! Who cares? She has no experience! If you wish to endure another four years of illegal wiretaps, illegal wars, illegal torture, illegal influence peddling, etc, then of course, McCain/Palin is the obvious choice. It isn't necessarily criminal intent that leads to illegal activity. Sometimes the criminals are just too dumb and inexperienced to realize fully what it is they are doing. Case in point: George W. Bush. There is a reason that the general public want politicians who are both erudite and experienced when it comes to national affairs. There are, of course, also very good reasons why the wealthy men and women who can exert great influence in their respective countries, do not want politicians who are erudite, and experienced.

You stated, "It's a fair question to ask: Exactly who has the most experience with real people facing real issues - a two-term mayor of a small northern community or a bunch of guys who've been surrounded by staff for so long they don't even know where their coats are hung?"

Wow. Don't you mean "- a two-term mayor of a small northern community or three sitting U.S. Senators?" Shouldn't that be the statement? Unless you're deliberately using verbiage to influence your readers... Which, of course, is what you're attempting to do. The real question is why? Are you merely presenting the contrarian view? Or do you truly believe that governing 7000 people in a semi-isolated environment can somehow entitle a politician to lead 300 million. That is the real point. The VP must be as prepared to lead as the President, and this VP could be in the position of administering to the Free World. The American Empire is as real as any that have preceded it. The only difference is that said Empire is not acknowledged as such. But, as goes America, so goes the world, and to compare the political careers of Barack Obama, Joseph Biden and even John McCain, unfavorably with an utter neophyte is ridiculous in the extreme.

"Real people, facing real issues." So, what major issue could Mrs. Palin have presided over that would prepare her to face down a militarily resurgent Russia, a flush China, and a restless Iran? The placement of downtown parking meters? Ensuring that the abortion clinic (if one even exists) is well hidden? Championing a drive thru snowmobile gas station? I don't know, and I know that I'm being flippant, but the point is I don't know, perhaps because, she hasn't done anything other than get herself elected. As for Cindy McCain's comment that Palin has foreign affairs experience because Alaska is in close proximity to Russia, well, I'm still laughing over that one. Do you suppose Mrs. McCain knows just how many thousands of miles and time zones Moscow is from the eastern edge of Russia? When was the last time Putin or Medvedev held court in Provideniya?

Let's look at the family values comment as well. You have reinvented the definition of Family Values (capitalized by the Republican Party) by telling us what our family values are, how it is also "...about being there for the flip side of family life." Really? Does that include denial to abortion services even in the case of the rape of one's own daughter? Does it include endorsing a Republican platform that endorses abstinence-only sex education? Slashing funding to teen mothers? Using the influence of one's office to punish your sister's ex-husband? Ridiculous. As for her belief in the veracity of the Bible, that's her affair. It has no place in US Federal politics. That "family" has been usurped by a religious minority in the US is unfortunate. To support that usurpation is unsound.

"Ms. Palin - regardless of what one thinks of her politics - is up against a growing media bias against things that are small and distant." Where is the evidence that you provide to support such an outsized slander? Simple manipulation of Statistics Canada? What politician, police chief, or managing editor has not manipulated stats at some point in their careers? There must be more to back your assertion that the media is against Palin because she is "small and distant." I would urge you to rediscover what your colleagues are writing and saying about Palin. She has no experience, is under investigation for abuse of Gubernatorial power, and her views on abortion and teenage sexuality and pregnancy leave her in the minority when compared to women nationally. Is there any useful commentary that can be added to these issues? I'm sure there is.

Candide Franklyn
Toronto, September 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An Open Letter to Timothy Shriver & The Washington Post

This is a response to an article posted online by Timothy Shriver, entitled "Palin's Choice: Pro Trig." It was published online September 2, 2008, on

You see, Tim, here's the thing... Once you utter the word "choice" you've effectively ended any further discussion. You either support the right of women to make their own choices in every area of their life, supported by the law, that self-same "Wholly ineffective strategy for promoting life," or you support the right of the over-arching majority to choose for them.

Sarah Palin's choice to have her son is her choice. It is not open for any further debate or interpretation by any medium, secular or non. This nation is a nation of laws, and to post an article in which the underlying foundation of U.S. case law can be dismissed because the laws do not support a particular religious point of view is an outrage, and indeed cries shame on the Washington Post.

Yes, I realize that you qualified your statement by prefacing it with "In the abortion debate..." However, this kind of thinking could easily be applied to any type of debate. Either the law is used to provide redress of grievances or it is not. You don't get to pontificate on which areas of the law are ineffective based on how it affects you personally. I would venture to say that in the abortion debate, the law has proved a wholly effective strategy for promoting the lives of women and men who chose to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

In further reading of your proposition (I hesitate to call it an article), you state that "Trig could be a high-profile example of how wonderful it can be to choose life, even in adversity." Why is this statement also qualified? "Trig could..." or " wonderful it can be to choose life..." are elements that certainly make me think that even you don't believe what you're selling. Isn't it obvious that life can be wonderful? And also, that life can be awful, an extended trial in adversity for some? Palin does not necessarily elucidate the complexities of life with her choice; it is merely her choice. One guaranteed by the law that you see fit to dismiss so easily.

One last thing... Your byline reads "Re-thinking, Re-feeling and Reviving Faith." I always wonder why people of faith, that is, people who believe in a "Higher Power" and simultaneously believe in a man-made dogma regarding said "Higher Power," why it is that such people believe that they have any right at all to discuss their religion or faith with ANYONE? True faith connects your inner self with your creator. Yours. Where is it written that one god can suffice for the many? Each of us must find god on our own, whether we attend church or synagogue or mosque regularly, or even if we can not spell the word god. God is connected to us through the experiences of common sense, and no other man can or should ever presume to lecture us on our life choices based on his interpretation of an overarching non-secular hierarchy. And by the way, I know I opened a large door by asking "where is it written," but since every religious text was written by men, and a few women, I'm sure that I am still on terra firma. No one knows the mind, beliefs, or purpose of god. Stop trying to.

You presume to know that god's love is perfect. "After all, the conditions are never perfect, but the promise of a newborn baby is that god's love is." Did god have a conversation with you and let you know that god's love is perfect? How do you justify this statement without introducing your personal belief about god's love? With the benefit of hindsight, don't tell me that there aren't at least a thousand ruthless and bloody warlords from the time of prehistory right up until the present day that mankind in general could have done without. I won't name any names, just consider our world history and the periods of history rife with mass murder. Warmongers that priests and popes have condemned to "burn in hellfire," such evil have they perpetrated. When they were newborns, were they also the promise of god's perfect love? Let us not be so naive as that. Life can be good and life can be evil, and life can be every thing in between. What other pronouncements can be set in stone? Or type?

The world entire is a result of choice. Choice is all that distinguishes us fully from inanimate forms of life. Who is born and who is not, who is executed and who spends life in prison, who incites war and who sues for peace... The results inform our world and our society. If you do not believe in abortion, that is your choice. Don't confuse that ability to choose with anything other than a right secured for you by the blood, sweat, and toil of ancestors long dead.

You close with "...let's also agree that the best choice is life." Where do you weigh in on the other facets of that statement, I wonder? Are you for or against the death penalty? Do you believe in war? Would you turn the other cheek in any and every instance? You see, abortion is just the tip of the discussions, not the root as evangelicals in particular seem to believe. Protecting and preserving life, specifically human life, should start with the protection and preservation of those citizens who are alive! You want to talk about abortion, fine. But continue the debate into all areas of societal life and address the violence that surrounds even the most peaceful of citizens. The "Choose Life" argument is a simplistic one that rings hollow in a nation unerringly set on a course for continual war.

As a final note, I wonder where the millions of "lower" animals slaughtered for food and clothing every day fit into your "Choose Life" philosophy?