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And Puppy Makes Five

November 5, 2008 @ 21:14

Talk about a hard ass. Barack Obama sure sets some lofty conditions for his children.

Obviously his kids have been asking for a puppy for a long time, and obviously he responded by saying something like "The day we get a puppy is the day I become President of the United States."

I'm sure that line has gotten a lot of other fathers out of having to get a dog, but in this case it came back to bite him in the ass.

Meanwhile, regardless of your political slant, you couldn't help but feel good about what happened on Tuesday night. Granted there was a lot of misplaced glee, brought on solely because of skin colour, but in this case it's acceptable.

Only time will tell if Barack Obama is the right man for the job. Whether experience really matters, whether is economic plans are sound or whether his foreign policy is a pipe dream.

In the mean time we can all bask in the glory of this great moment in history.

I've got be honest, up until just a few months ago, the thought of a black president in my lifetime was something I didn't consider. I really didn't think it was possible. I thought something would always stand in the way.

Last night truly did prove to millions of African Americans that anything is possible.

It will be interesting to see how much of an impact it will have going forward and whether it will change the mind-set of an entire race of people.

Judging by the reaction Tuesday night, I think it's safe to say "yes it can!"

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Free Ride

November 4, 2008 @ 09:01

I don't want to sound like a snob, but I have to say this. There are a lot of people who will vote for Barack Obama today who are just as blind as the hundreds of thousands around the GTA who insist on clinging to the Liberals.

I'll even go one step further. There are a lot of people in Canada who are pulling for Barack Obama without really scratching beneath the surface.

I can see it. I can feel it.

Admittedly, I want Obama to win the election today because I genuinely feel he represents the change that the United States and the rest of the world needs right now. But believe me, this determination didn't come easy.

There is a lot we don't know about Obama and no matter how you slice it, he really doesn't have a lot of experience, but I've come to the conclusion that maybe that's a good thing. He can lead the free-world in a new direction with a fresh approach.

However, there is also the real possibility that this guy could be an unmitigated disaster and that's the chance that everyone who casts a ballot today will take.

Unfortunately, I don't think too many people have thought it through to that extent.

Obama is young, he seems like a cool guy, he's black and he's not Republican. The package he offers has allowed far too many people to become lazy and decide they're going to vote for the guy regardless of what's beneath the skin.

I sound like I'm contradicting myself because I too support the man, and that's why I might be coming off as a snob by writing this piece but I decided to support Obama after I thought about it long and hard.

I don't think I have much company in that regard.

Barack Obama will likely become the President of the United States later tonight, and it will provide a wild ride into the next decade.

I don't think there will be any middle ground with this guy. He'll either become the great messiah that many have predicted, or he'll be a living nightmare.

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It Goes Both Ways

November 3, 2008 @ 09:20

I was still in Brampton this morning, so very early I spun the radio dial and listened to a couple of Toronto's morning talk shows.

I amused by something I heard on The John Oakley Show. The point was made, and its completely valid, that the overwhelming percentage of African American's in the United States are going to vote for Barack Obama simply because he's black and that in its purest form its nothing short of racism.

Apparently the number is somewhere close to 98 percent and that's taking into consideration the millions of blacks who don't usually vote but plan to line up tomorrow.

But is anyone surprised?

African Americans tend to vote Democrat anyway, but this election, whether you like it or not, is racially historic so it really shouldn't surprise anyone when you consider what it represents.

African Americans have been cut out of the political process for centuries, so excuse them for getting a little excited over this one. Historically they've been a suppressed people constantly looking for someone to lead them out of the dark ages, so excuse them for supporting the black guy.

Granted, there are dangers to this. Ballots will be cast without really considering the issues, but then again, that will probably be balanced by the millions upon millions of white people who won't vote for Obama for the same reason blacks are voting for him.

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E-mail - Rahaf Harfoush

November 2, 2008 @ 21:12

Hi Fred!

Thank you so much for mentioning the work we're doing in Chicago, it's been an inspiring experience. I'm sorry we didn't get a chance to meet in person, I absolutely loved Humble & Fred in the mornings.

Best,
Rahaf

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When Talking Makes Cents

November 2, 2008 @ 10:16

The Iraq war is costing the United States of America roughly 12 billion dollars a month, and by the end of the year it will have cost the country one trillion dollars.

It's an expenditure that can't be sustained and it provides an extremely valid reason why Barack Obama wants to "sit down and talk."

During the current American election campaign Obama has been vilified by the right for even suggesting that talking to America's enemies might be better than bombing them.

It's an interesting phenomenon.

As children we're told not to fight. We're encouraged to communicate and resolve disputes through the spoken word, not the broken bone. But for some reason, those rules change as we get older.

There's no doubt there are several "wing nut" countries throughout the world and several barbaric organizations like Al Qaeda. Some will argue that you can never negotiate with these people and surely never reach what the vast majority of us want - world peace.

But what's the alternative? Under the current plan, by the time the United States pulls out of Iraq and Afghanistan they will have spent three trillion dollars and from all accounts, they simply can't sustain such expenditure. It will literally cripple the country and we've already seen evidence of that.

There's an element in the United States that prefers to write Barack Obama off as some kind of a socialist crack pot.

Is he that, or is he a realist?

To remain adversarial may or may not have prevented terrorist acts in the United States over the past five years, but we'll never know. And it's that unknown that nagging.

It's not Republican policy to sit down and talk, or to show any kind of weakness or conciliation when it comes to the so-called bad guys, so if John McCain becomes president we can expect more of the same. More war and more billions spent.

However, if Barack Obama becomes President, then maybe, just maybe the United States has the chance to change direction.

To stand up in the United States of America and propose "talking" to the enemy is dangerous territory. It's not the American way. Crushing things is the American way.

But Barack Obama doesn't care and to me that doesn't show weakness, it shows immeasurable strength.

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Comments We Like

November 2, 2008 @ 09:39

McCain's campaign of opportunities lost

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Sarah Palin Punked

November 2, 2008 @ 08:57

MONTREAL- A Quebec comedy duo notorious for prank calls to celebrities and heads of state has punked Sarah Palin, convincing the Republican vice-presidential nominee she was speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Category: Politics | Video

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The Quiet Storm

October 31, 2008 @ 20:40

It's been interesting to listen to American conservative talk radio over the past few days.

Mental midgets like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are telling Americans not to believe the polls which have Barack Obama way out in front.

Their strategy is elementary. They want Republicans to get out and vote. You know the deal, it's difficult to get people to get out and vote at the best of times, but when they think the outcome is a foregone conclusion it's even worse.

Limbaugh and Hannity know the polls are correct, but they're so desperate to push their perverted agendas, they'll like to their listeners, tell them the polls are wrong, and hope they'll get off their fat asses and maybe close the gap.

But it may all be a waste of time.

I spent Wednesday, Thursday and the better part of Friday at a conference in Toronto. It was the Corus Entertainment Leadership Conference and a good measure of it dealt with this rapidly changing technological world and the importance of radio and television to be connected to their audience through the "new" media.

Encourage collaboration with listeners and viewers. Encourage them to be part of the process by actually contributing content.

One of the most compelling panels involved four people under 25 years of age. They called it the "Net Generation Panel" and among the group was a 22 year old woman named Rahaf Harfoush from Toronto, who's a new media strategist.

She's just a kid, but she has big clients all over the world who depend on her to come up with ways to connect them with potential customers.

But right now she's reaching the end of a three month hiatus. She has spent the last three months in Chicago working on Barack Obama's New Media Team, and apparently it's been a smashing success that could very well provide the margin of victory.

It's every simple. When it comes to new media, Obama has clobbered John McCain.

It's not that McCain's team ignored the web. They used it, but as you might expect, they used it like a 71 year old man would use it compared to a progressive 47 year old.

McCain used it, but he didn't take full advantage of it like Obama did. And part of Obama's strategy was to hire some brilliant young minds like our own Rahaf Harfoush.

A gang of kids went Chicago and set up a social network that could very well blow the doors off Tuesday's election. They set up a network that challenged young Americans to take an interest in this election.

Much like it is in Canada, it's been difficult in the United States to get 18-24 year olds to become involved in the process. A lot of them don't vote because they're turned-off by politics. They tend to lean left, but only a small percentage are inspired enough to actually go out and cast a ballot.

This year could be much different.

Tens of millions of young Americans have been reached through Obama's on-line social network which has encouraged them to stand up and be counted this time. It's an historic election featuring two distinct candidates and "net" generation has apparently bought in.

If the response to the network is any indication they will come out in droves on Tuesday night in numbers that that have never been realized before.

Not only that, but these are people that haven't been counted in the polls. They don't talk to pollsters, and often aren't even asked. So come Tuesday, it could be overwhelming, which in way, makes Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity correct.

The polls aren't accurate. Obama may have an even bigger lead than they indicate.

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Having Said That

October 31, 2008 @ 20:39

Not to repeat myself, but I have to say it again. I may be a Canadian conservative, but that doesn't put me anywhere close to an American conservative.

A Canadian conservative is a lot more in common with an American democrat, and I guess that's why I hope Barack Obama wins the election on Tuesday.

I think he's the right guy at the right time and he'll represent a refreshing change from eight ridiculous years of George W. Bush.

Having said that, I'm worried. I'm worried that the world's self appointed greatest democracy could come crashing down Tuesday night. Not from a literal standpoint, but more symbolic.

Anybody with a brain knows the fable that is the United States of America, all the crap about it being the world's greatest country and a beacon of hope and prosperity.

It's far from the world's greatest country, hell its doesn't even come close to Canada but the average American has eaten the bullshit so long, they won't even take the time to look at their northern neighbours and appreciate how much better off we are

Maybe on Tuesday, when everything they apparently stand for explodes, it will make a few million people wake up.

I have a feeling that the upcoming American election could reduce the United States of America to nothing better than a banana republic. I have a feeling the election could be "influenced" and Americans blacks will be the target.

If you thought voter irregularities in 2000 and 2004 were bad, you haven't seen anything yet. I fully expect that heavily populated African American areas of the United States will experience "problems" on Tuesday night. It will difficult for these people to cast ballots with anything and everything thrown in the way to prevent them from voting for Barack Obama.

The United States is poised to experience the largest African American voter turnout in its history and it simply won't be tolerated and everything possible will be done to prevent these people from voting. Hell, there was already evidence of it in advanced polling.

There will be excuses and cover-ups and propaganda to cover it up, but I truly believe it could happen.

The so-called greatest country on earth, the world's so called ultimate example of freedom and democracy could be so blatantly exposed on Tuesday night it may never recover.

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Compromise

October 28, 2008 @ 08:20

This posting proves I'm not always against the McGuinty government.

Even though he's built his empire on a stack of lies, and most of what he says can't be trusted or believed, from time to time he does come up with something rational.

Like a cell phone and GPS ban which will be introduced in the Ontario legislature today.
It's not only long overdue, but it's also extremely reasonable. You will still be able to use your cell phone with an ear piece and you'll be able to use a GPS if its mounted on the dashboard.

The proposed legislation wants to get people away from one hand driving and the distraction of looking away from the road while tending to other business.

Some might argue that all forms of telephone calls and global positioning should be banned, but at this point, that's unrealistic. We've crossed the line.

Too many people depend on constant communications in their jobs. We've established new standards and to take that completely away at this point would be too damaging.

Unfortunately, in this new world of multi-tasking, over work and horrendous expectations, to take phones out of cars completely at this point would put too many people at a disadvantage.

That's why the McGuinty government has taken the measures they have. A compromise that will take gadgets out of your hands while driving, but still allow you to communicate.

It makes sense.

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