Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Wright Stuff

If you have a little bit of time on your hands, I'd strongly recommend watching Bill Moyers interview with Rev. Jeremiah Wright that aired on PBS this past Friday. It certainly gives a much fuller and more sympathetic view of the man who has been defined for so many people by short soundbites.

One clip of his from the introductory portion of the show struck me in a way I did not expect - a clip of him giving a sermon where he says the following:

REVEREND WRIGHT: In Genesis:2 it says God breathes into the nostrils of what God had formed from the dust. God donated some divinity to some dirt and we became living souls. That’s God breath you have in you, that’s God’s breath that you just breathed. God is the giver of life. Let me tell you what that means. That means we have no right to take a life whether as a gang banger living the thug life, or as a President lying about leading a nation into war. We have no right to take a life! Whether through the immorality of a slave trade, or the immorality of refusing HIV/AIDS money to countries or agencies who do not tow your political line! We have no right to take a life! Turn to your neighbors and say we have no right to take a life!

It struck me because it mirrors one of the central tenants of my own Doukhobor faith, which includes a belief that violence against others is wrong because the divine spirit lives within all people. Now obviously Wright expressed it in a very different way than I would choose to, but the philosophical linkage I found to be quite interesting.

And For The Record

I find it unexplainable that while Obama continues to get heat for Rev. Wright, John McCain's cozying up to John Hagee seems to largely get a pass. But Obama obviously has a much closer personal and spiritual relationship with Wright than McCain to Hagee you say? Sure, that is no doubt true. But I find it tough for a reasonable person to argue that Wright's worst "soundbites" are on the same level as Hagee's worst (see video below).

Moreover, neither of these guys are running for President, right? So why does this continue to be an issue?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Federal Election Watch

I haven't been commenting much over the never ending election speculation that seems to be all that the Parliamentary Press Gallery can will itself to write about. Mostly because I just don't buy any of it - it is in no one's self-interest right now to have an election and I think that the game theory dynamics of the current federal political scene would point towards a fall 08' election at the earliest, with my bet being sometime in 09'.

That said, I am bringing this up because in the last few days I have been at presentations by both Paul Martin (yes, he is still alive and actually in fine fighting form) and Martha Hall Findley, and have conversations with friends and colleagues involved with the Liberals and other parties both here in Saskatchewan and in Ottawa. My conclusion - a 50/50 chance that the Government will fall within the next two weeks. Either over the immigration legislation or a non-confidence vote surrounding the in-and-out scandal.

That said, I do think that two weeks from now there will still be no election and we can look forward to a summer of attack ads by the Conservatives so they can take advantage of not having to deal with such pesky annoyances as spending limits.