Friday, December 18, 2009

Canada to Harper: Remember Us?

So the Copenhagen talks accomplished nothing. Have you seen their current draft?

Basically, what they have officially decided is that they think it's a good idea to do something about climate change. They will support initiatives and set targets, but they will not set deadlines or make any commitments. Harper is on the wrong side of all the issues, and Obama is too concerned with having control over China's economy to make any promises. The EU won't promise more than a 20% reduction in carbon emissions (compared to 1990 levels), because they are annoyed about other countries not doing their share. So basically everyone wants someone else to take responsibility.

In regards to the attempt at a people's assembly outside the building where the meetings took place, I think that some people are accusing the police of more brutality than they actually used. Now, obviously, people beating people is never a good thing, but the demonstrators did try to break through the police line onto territory where they were not allowed to go. On the other hand, the Youtube videos show that excessive force was used in many cases. It seems to mostly be one policeman who beats people with his baton even when they are putting their hands up in surrender and doing what they're told.

The upside (I guess) is that no country will be policed by another country to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to. Officially, that is. Like I said, Obama will not commit to giving funds to help reduce emissions until China becomes more "transparent" whatever that means. It's one of those catchy words politicians like to throw around these days.

In other news, Omar Khadr is being transferred to a federal US prison in Illinois. I think it's Illinois. Anyway, basically this now 23-year-old Canadian will not be sent home for his trial. The guy was arrested when he was 15 for crying out loud. I think he has served his sentence.

Also, he was arrested for killing an American officer of some sort in Afghanistan. He allegedly threw a grenade at him during a US military attack on a village. Some say he was a child soldier. Others say he knew nothing about his father's alleged terrorist activities. Either way, the UN Human Rights Declaration is being violated as well as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that he must be brought home. Amnesty International, the Canadian Bar Association and several others have lobbied for his extradition, but the Canadian government refuses to comply with its own Charter.

He might be guilty and he might not be. That's not the issue. The issue is twofold: 1) he was a juvenile at the time of his arrest, something the Canadian government has decided to ignore, and 2) he is a Canadian citizen who should be extradited back to his home country.

Sigh. When is this idiot Prime Minister gonna be replaced with someone who cares about his country? Can we have another vote of non-confidence?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Musical Rut

Have you ever tried to write a song? I have. Every so often, I get this mad impulse to imagine that I'm much better at guitar and songwriting than I really am, and I think I can write something amazing. Needless to say, it's never amazing.

It is fun though, and sometimes it works as a release. On the other hand, sometimes it's just plain frustrating. If you've ever tried and failed to do anything creative, you'll understand. You get all excited about it as you work on it, then over time you realize, nope, not what I wanted it to be at all.

It sucks.

Now, I have written a few songs I'm proud of, but I'm just not where I wanna be with my music skills. I think I have a good ear and mind for music. I can usually pick out the different instruments in a song (if they're real instruments and not somebody hitting computer keys), and I can follow the drumbeat pretty well. I notice dissonance and key changes. So yeah, I'm okay at it, theoretically.

That's the problem though. It's all theoretical. I understand it in my head but it just doesn't come out the way I want it to. Also, I think being in an academic environment is ruining my ability to write poetically. You know, starting off your song with a thesis statement doesn't really work all that well.

I guess I just don't practice enough, or have anyone to bounce it off of. Not to say that there's no one who would be able to give me advice. It's just, showing a song to someone is like letting them read your diary. True, they probably won't understand it, but still. They will wonder what it's all about and most likely ask and then you either have to tell them or find some excuse not to. It's just unpleasant.

If you have any advice how I can get myself out of this musical rut, let me know in a comment. It's really frustrating, especially since I don't get much support from the people I'm around most of the time.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The US and Canada are going to hell

There are so many things I want to blog about today.

First off, why is Harper destroying Canada? (Note: in case you don't know, Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada.) He is going ahead with the SPP (check it out here ), he's trying to sell off all our water, and he's abandoning Canada's identity as a nation of peacekeepers to turn us into a nation of warriors. What is wrong with this guy, and more importantly, why are people supporting him? I know Canadians aren't good at getting pissed off about stuff, but seriously.

On a similar note, Canada's environmental responsibility is rapidly disappearing down the drain of Alberta's tar sands. Oil, always oil. Tar sands produce the dirtiest kind of oil in the world, which means it takes three barrels of water to produce one barrel of oil. Also, the drainage from this work goes into "tailing ponds" most of which are unlined, meaning that the pollution seeps into rivers and basically pollutes the entire country's network of water. (For more information on this and similar issues, check out the Council of Canadians website at )

It seems that my elation over Obama's decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was a little premature. Turns out he's going to play the numbers game, adding more troops in order to send a message to the world that the USA is strong and can do whatever it wants. WE ALREADY KNOW THAT, OBAMA, so just get the hell out. Nobody wants you there. At least Harper is taking a mild stand on this one and refusing to send more troops to complement the American military being deployed there. On the other hand, he's not exactly pulling out either.

The number strategy didn't work in Vietnam, it didn't work for the Russians in Afghanistan and it didn't work in the first Gulf War. It just doesn't work. Sending more people to die and kill is not going to solve anything. People have been invading Afghanistan forever and adding more troops has never accomplished anything. If the President were really to listen to his people, the ones that know what they're talking about and care about their nation, he would be pulling everyone out of that country - and Iraq - as quickly as possible. Oh well, at least he has set a time frame for complete withdrawal. It's still a step. Now we just have to see if he sticks to it.

So much for the Nobel Peace Prize. How can that have been given to a man who is engaged in TWO occupations, one of which is illegal under international law? Yeah, because that promotes peace in the world...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Time Warp

It's been a month since my boyfriend left.

Those of you who don't know me are probably thinking I've gone through some kind of breakup. This is not the case. I'm in a long distance relationship and we see each other every 4 months on average. It's not easy but it's worth it.

Anyway, so I was looking at the calendar today and realized it's been just over a month. He left on October 28th. It seems like so long ago.

But it's only a month.

It's weird how time bends like that. It warps itself so that a month can be a long time or a short time, depending. A lot has happened in the last month, and yet when you look at a calendar and see that it's only four and a half weeks, it kind of boggles the mind.

It's hard to wrap your head around sometimes.