Tuesday, March 29, 2005


I live in a peculiar place. First, I should say, I live in Ottawa—not necessarily peculiar in any way except for the fact that the Federal legislature can be found here; or, in more Canadianese, National parliament. On occasion, I’ve been lead to believe that I live in downtown Ottawa when, instead, I actually live close to downtown Ottawa. This is a difference without a distinction: I live close enough to Metcalf to throw rocks at, and maybe hit, the Ottawa Congress Centre. What am I trying to get at, exactly? Good question— I’m glad you asked.

Where I’m located is, as I joked to my roommate once, “A soci-economic fault line; the margins or, better still, the vortex through which any number of social realties tear apart as a result of the sheer centrifugal force of Gentrification.” I didn’t put it this long-windedly to him—but I should be forgiven: this is print.

Gentrification is the process by which a previously economically depressed area becomes economically viable. This is done, obviously, by the acquisition and re-development of once dilapidated and condemned real estate. I remember seeing this happening in areas of downtown Detroit, where canny developers scooped up generous lots of real estate for below, as in subterranean below, market value—in some cases only $1000 for obscene amounts square-footage.

Back to Ottawa: as I was saying, the peculiarity of my area is similar. Gentrification is happening; but first, some context. (Imagine me standing outside, in front of my place. It will help.)

If I were to walk two blocks to the south, I’d find myself in a thriving, dissolute environment, replete with prostitutes, drug dealers, and social dependents —I want to say criminals, too, although I can’t say this positively. As if this shouldn’t be odd enough, If I were to go one block east from my digs—and this is being overstated; maybe it’s eleven strides, if that—I’d be overcome by the site of large Victorian homes, functional yet generic townhouse duplexes, and neatly modern, but faux, Brownstones(right down to the red sandstone). I have now entered family living and young-professional territory, where, I could imagine, neighbor visits neighbor, commenting on how white their cashmere sweaters are—I joke.

Going further east through this areas, one will come upon Bank Street, a main street in Ottawa that is populated, to the south mostly, by posh boutiques, excellent used book stores, rare specialty food shops, urbane pubs, and nearly too many Café and Coffee houses. This area is lovingly dubbed The Glebe. The area becomes Hyde Park Ottawa fast, as one quickly notices various embassies and luxury cars with inarticulate names. The Glebe is not Rockcliffe or Rosedale, clearly; but it’s not Bronson or Somerset, either. This is fully evolved affluence styling itself as bohemian cosmopolitanism. This is where gentrification emanates—flowing down Bank and Bronson, expanding Glebe proper.

Back to me, and now two blocks to the west: a lower and working class Italian neighbor, the jewel of which is Preston Street, spills forth with cultural verve and gastronomical draws—my favorite, De Rienzo’s: Italian sandwiches par excellence. Two blocks to the north, and running perpendicular to Preston, is Somerset, an upper-wardly mobile Chinese community assiduously trying to shed its working class roots, or so it seems.

So where do I live, in a descriptive sense, you ask? On the fault line: all the cultural and economic threads I’ve, heretofore, noted create the pastiches I live in. Social dependents, nuclear-family homes, extended Italian families, young professionals, and needlessly wordy students all call where I live home -- for the time being, that is.

As for gentrification, upscale condominiums are materializing, north and south, on Bronson, which will likely invite boutique shops that cater to them. Doubtless this will appreciate real estate prices in the surrounding areas, leading to increased rates of property taxation. If you’re a home owner, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But if you aren’t, it will mean increases in rent—increases that generally move quicker than relative increases in income. The amount of one’s income relative to the amount they pay for housing will predicate who moves first. The exodus will be composed of large families, lower income earners, and social dependants moving to more affordable housing, in the suburbs, one hopes.

I’m not entirely convinced this may be the case. With power centers, attractive swaths of property, and relative seclusion, suburban homes aren’t exactly inexpensive. Moreover, mobility and the dearth of available labour is another drawback. I’m unaware of a striving suburban constituency that is moderately affordable to live in and flush with available employment. Especially with fizzle of the technology markets, castrating nearly 16,000 jobs from Ottawa and leaving barren Silicon Valley North -- places like Stittville particularly -- this constituency seems elusive. As a consequence, people are staring to move further to the margins; Gatineau, Quebec, for example. Here rent is rock bottom and mobility into the city is tolerable.

Luckily, I’ll be out of the country before this comes to pass.

And as for solutions: I can’t say that I have any. These are some extremely powerful forces that, while moving imperceptibly slow, manifest as immovable realties almost instantaneously. I think this is a matter of logic, economics, and comparative social spheres, the separation of which confuses our understanding of the relevant issues—treating what is actual as though it were necessary.

The economics of gentrification are necessary because we say they are, and its logic appealing because we’ve begged the question: Economic flourish and viability is good; therefore, gentrification, the economic flourish of a previously depressed area, is good, if not better, and therefore necessary. But the logic is problematic for reasons dealing with what exactly good is, and to whom this good is generally directed. This, it must be understood, necessitates the analysis of comparative social spheres in the context and process of gentrification. Not only that, the conclusions and outcomes flowing from gentrification should be assessed comprehensively. The tautology that gentrification creates economic viability full stop and without deeper analysis will not do. I will stop now.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

What's the matter with the Raptors?

It's a foregone conclusion—the Raptors aren't likely to make the playoffs. Worse still, they're dropping games like the Atlanta Hawks. (The game tonight is versus the lowly Hawks.) The matter with the Raptors is grizzled vet Jalen Rose. Too often during crunch time (they affably named him Captain Crunch) Rose takes it upon himself to be the Raptors' sole savior.

Now, I wouldn't have a problem with this if he was consistent, and it wouldn't bother me in the slightest if the Raptors were actually winning. Further, I’d care even less if a player like Chris Bosh wasn't on the team.

Unfortunately, Jalen Rose isn't consistent, the Raptors aren't winning, and a player like Chris Bosh is, in fact, on the team. Therefore, this Captain Crunch ball-hog nonsense is grating, to say the very least. Chris Bosh is an amazing young talent with freakishly mature fundamentals; and, to my chagrin, he’s being grossly underutilized by Sam Mitchell.

I love Jalen Rose—especially considering his Fab-five legacy—but he needs to quickly understand, and Sam Mitchell has to make this pellucidly clear, that no longer can he be considered option one. If the Raptors are to succeed in the future, Chris Bosh has to be option number one. He's tough, competitive and plays with the pride of a champion. When was the last time someone said that of Vince Carter?

(By the way, the Raptors won; Chris Bosh scored 32 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sea Change

In These Times has an excellent piece by Christopher Hayes on Progressives' fight for America’s soul. It offers a number of interesting yet simple proposals and, not incidentally, proves instructive on many levels beyond American politics. It’s the beginnings of a political tract, and may prove indispensable in the future. I suggest it be read, bookmarked, read, emailed, read, and reposted—maybe even here on Dominion.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The burning city.

Hey, cool: That Pizza place down the street from me which has egregiously bad pizza that is egregiously expensive is no longer in business -- for the time being, at least. But seriously, 13 people are left without residence and significant damage has been wrought to a thriving commercial area surrounding Bank Street. A used book store I frequent, Book Bazaar, is right across the street. Luckily, it was spared.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Down to the burning city.

I’ve always had this recurring dream: I’m standing in the middle of a road looking forward into the horizon of a cityscape. I’m young—about five—and to my left is a home, rather modest, with two girls my age sitting on steps that attach to the porch. They stand in some of this dream’s different variants; they sit in others. But they’re always in the dream. To my right is a larger home. It’s were I live and I can intuitively sense this. From the cityscape a billow of smoke winds skyward—it’s as though there is a building on fire, or maybe the whole city is one fire?

The houses to my left and right are the only ones down this long road, surrounded by brush and expansive, colorful vegetation. My perspective is elevated since I’m able to look down toward the burning building or buildings or city, which are quiet a distance away. Behind me there is nothing but blue sky—blue sky that appears to have no depth whatsoever; or maybe it’s the edge of a cliff? Only a small piece of road—five feet in length, maybe—a patch of fresh grass and a bush are behind my left shoulder. It feels like the end of the world or the end of the universe is behind me—as though nothing exists beyond this point.

Or maybe it’s the beginning of existence; the start of consciousness for me. Behind me is quite possibly the unconscious slumber of thought searching for manifestation, of the “I” searching for ontology. I remember this dream because it’s historical; at least in an allegorical sense.

These are some of my first living memories. I’ve had other dreams that correspond to actual historical events in my earlier childhood, confirmed and attested to by older relatives. Sequentially, these other early dreams of childhood recollection are equivocal and contain elements of fuller spatial depth. Three dimensions of space and another one of time pervades in these recollections. In this recurring dream, I’m almost stepping into time—into existence. The two girls are historical: when I was about three I lived across from two young girls my age. We were playmates. Our home was elevated and looked down towards a cityscape.

The symbolism of this dream became far more salient as I read an essay be Slovenian Philosopher Slavoj Zizek—of Marxist Lacanian bent. (And of course, Lacan theorizes that the infant moves from the unconscious non-subjectivity to the objective “I” referent.)

In his essay, The Matrix, or, the Two Sides of Perversion, Zizek posits that the reality we attempt to escape to—away from the unreality of a capitalist consumerist paradigm—is itself an ideology. Wondering what could be behind our societal veneer, Zizek says this:

This final shot of The Truman Show may seem to enact the liberating experience of breaking out from the ideological suture of the enclosed universe into its outside, invisible from the ideological inside. However, what if it is precisely this "happy" denouement of the film (let us not forget: applauded by the millions around the world watching the last minutes of the show), with the hero breaking out and, as we are led to believe, soon to join his true love (so that we have again the formula of the production of the couple!), that is ideology at its purest? What if ideology resides in the very belief that, outside the closure of the finite universe, there is some "true reality" to be entered?

The entire essay is loaded with Lacanian jargon and inscrutable psychoanalytic allusions. Yet it is nonetheless an interesting read; humorous and measured in tone. Why I recalled my recurring dream during the essay, I’m not particularly sure. But the questions and symbols still remain. What do these two girls embody? Am I stepping into consciousness away from non-existence? And why this road down towards the burning city?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Who stole Ohio?

Christopher Hitchens puts on the white hat while penning a revelatory essay in March's Vanity Fair. Apropos of November 2, 2004, Hitchens delves into the voting irregularities through-out the electorally crucial state of Ohio—a state that eventually paved the way for a second Bush term. Here's an interesting excerpt:

Machines are fallible and so are humans, and shit happens, to be sure, and no doubt many Ohio voters were able to record their choices promptly and without grotesque anomalies. But what strikes my eye is this: in practically every case where lines were too long or machines too few the foul-up was in a Democratic county or precinct, and in practically every case where machines produced impossible or improbable outcomes it was the challenger who suffered and the actual or potential Democratic voters who were shortchanged, discouraged, or held up to ridicule as chronic undervoters or as sudden converts to fringe-party losers.


There are some other, more random factors to be noted. The Ohio secretary of state, Kenneth Blackwell, was a state co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign at the same time as he was discharging his responsibilities for an aboveboard election in his home state. Diebold, which manufactures paper-free, touch-screen voting machines, likewise has its corporate headquarters in Ohio. Its chairman, president, and C.E.O., Walden O’Dell, is a prominent Bush supporter and fund-raiser who proclaimed in 2003 that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.” (See “Hack the Vote,” by Michael Shnayerson, Vanity Fair, April 2004.) Diebold, together with its competitor, E.S.&S., counts more than half the votes cast in the United States. This not very acute competition is perhaps made still less acute by the fact that a vice president of E.S.&S. and a Diebold director of strategic services are brothers.

The Godfather

News flash: The second Godfather is dreadfully overrated. Often considered one of the best sequels in contemporary cinema, the second Godfather seems, I think, to lack a unifying narrative. Don't get me wrong, it's a truly compelling story, and no doubt the treatment was moving when pitched to studio executives (obviously helped on by the success of the first Godfather) but sequentially, Coppola clumsily weaves two stories that vary in proportion.

The first, about Vito Corleone's escape from Sicily and eventual rise in New York, is proportional and persuasively portrayed by a young De Niro—proportional in that the narrative thread offers a singular progression. The second, about Don Michael Corleone's struggle to hold together a burgeoning family empire, is unproportional and plods on without a coherent or reasonable focus—it’s the height of summer one moment, then, without warning, or standard datelines, it's new year in Havana, 1959, as the city irrupts into pre-revolutionary looting; strange indeed, especially considering the stunted linearity of character development up until this point: Where was Fredo the whole time? Why wasn't a hit placed on Roth sooner? Is Senator Geary a necessary character?

The second narrative also fails in establishing a goal. We're given an ad hoc explanation as to why the Corleone family is called to testify at what, I can only guess, are Senate Hearings on criminal syndicates—although the viewer quickly understands that the Corleone family is public enemy number one. And even then, little is made of how easily Don Michael Corleone evades indictment: a reasoning that can’t even make sense of it self manifests ex nihilo.

The film seems to run out of breath far from the finish, dragging its languid corpse to the end, finally; only to appear confused and confusing. The narrative of Vito Corleone sets the table for, and amplifies the significance of, the first Godfather—despite this being done anachronistically; it’s a worthy compliment nonetheless. Michael Corleone's narrative searches for meaning and comes up wanting.

It may just be a matter of expectations and payoffs. Having not actually seen this movie, and hearing its vaunted reputation, a pristine mythology was neatly constructed around it. I had not, in any way, come across a counter assessment—or even a minority report. I expected more from this movie than it was able to deliver. It’s troubling that I wasn’t able to appreciate the film for what it was and not for what I'd expected it to be. In the final analysis, it may have been my loss for not watching it sooner.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Yes Men

I just finished watching an incredibly hilarious film that I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of earlier(It was released in 2003). The Yes Man—a mockumentary in Michael Mooresuque fashion—follows two ingenious and creative anti-globalization activists posing as WTO representatives from Paris, to Finland, to New York, places in between, and then finally to Australia where they dramatically announce the dissolution of the WTO.

The Yes Men, Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum, are invited to speak at a number of international conferences on matters of multilateral trade policy—this, of course, on the strength of their faux WTO website that actually criticizes WTO practices. Conference organizers, who clearly neglect to authenticate the veracity of Bonanno and Bichlhaum’s site, fall pray to the Yes Men’s use of irony, with a tough of abject realism, to openly mock conference members and convey what they feel to be the actual function of the WTO: To beggar poor nations for the benefit of large multinational corporations.

The most side splittingly funny part of the film, for me at least, came when Andy Bichlbaum (impersonating a WTO representative) explained to an assembled group of conference members that the American Civil War was unnecessary, since natural market forces would have solved the icky problem of slavery. Covered in a gold spandex body suit, with a phallic shaped inflatable shaft protruding from his crotch, Bichlbaum also introduce conference members to the future of efficient management: A skin tight leisure suit that allows managers—through a protruding shaft that contains a computer screen at its tip—to monitor the every move of employees all over the world—employees who’ve been implanted with an electronic sensory chip that corrects intransigent employees with electrical shocks, naturally. This consequently frees up more leisure time for managers to ski, enjoy sunsets, and pop champagne, as the Yes Men’s comically professional power point illustrates.

Needless to say, the film is irreverent and thoughtfully evocative. Beneath the easy smiles of anti-corporatist pranksterism lies a deadly serious and obtusely understood issue: Globalization’s discontents will soon register their appeals to the WTO un-reality based paradigms. I’m not usually a Cassandra; but if what’s going on in Latin American is any portent, then a sea change in international affair is likely taking place. Very, very sleepy; cogency slowly diminishing.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Latin America

Dispatches from the frontline of the ever expanding global village: First, from the Economist, an article about the economic turnaround Brazil is experiencing strikes a cautionary tone-government outlay shouldn’t be increased to the detriment of international investors:

Non-financial spending by the federal government rose by 11% in real terms last year, with big rises in areas that do nothing to strengthen long-term growth prospects. Lula added workers to the federal payroll, one reason why spending on personnel rose by 5% last year. Keeping an old promise, he will raise the official minimum wage by 8% to 300 reais ($115) a month, which will push up the cost of publicly financed pensions and benefits by 4 billion reais a year, says Raul Velloso, a budget expert in Brasília.


Yet some Brazilians [which ones?-ed.] worry about what would happen if investors lose their current appetite for risk. They reckon the government should be moving to cut its debt more swiftly, allowing interest rates to fall. In a rare comment on budget policy, the central bank recently said that “reductions in public spending [would] reinforce monetary policy in controlling inflation.” The latest data suggest that the economy is already slowing, which may mean that the bank can soon stop raising rates.

The sagacious benevolence of the IMF is eternal. From the article-- which is entitled The dangers of tax and spend-- is this infectiously cute cartoon of Brazil’'s president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva:

Over in Bolivia, President Carlos Mesa has stepped down as a result of the electorate-70% of which is constituted by indigenous, native Indians-agitating for economic and political recognition. From the Independent:

Faced with a national strike aimed at forcing international energy companies to pay much higher taxes, Mr. Mesa made what was seen as last-ditch effort to get his opponents to back down.


The former historian pointed the finger of blame for the crisis at Evo Morales, a coca farmer and leader of the populist Movement to Socialism (MAS), who he accused of turning the landlocked nation of 8 million into a "country of ultimatums".

Mr. Morales has led calls for a blockade stretching to every corner of the remote and isolated Andean country unless the government raises taxes on foreign energy companies exporting oil and gas to 50 per cent. The President has rejected the demand, saying foreign multinationals would take Bolivia to court, with disastrous consequences.


A regional analyst, Mark Schneider, from the International Crisis Group, said Bolivia was facing its "greatest crisis" in years. "The current issue may be drugs, gas or pipelines but the core is [respective] governments' failure to incorporate the majority of people into political life and it is coming back to haunt them," he said.

Globalization'’s discontents register their appeal.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Hyper-speed prediction-falsification

Ealier today, Matt Yglesias commented on the problem of hyper-speed prediction-falsification with respect to an article by Reuel Marc Gerecht in the current issue of the Weekly Standard. It's apt that the same thing should happen to me also--even if only slightly. The Cavs beat the Magic 111-92.

The boy who was to be King.

Don't mind me while I relish the perpetual decline of the once vaunted—and unjustifiably so—Cavaliers of Cleveland. Going into this year’s All-Star break, fawning stories about the transformation of the Cavs, helped by the young uber-star Lebron James, abounded. I'm not one for Shaundenfreud—though I’m always up for some good gloating—but during the Cavaliers distorted success many of my friends were heaping encomiums on the untested Lebron James. They marveled at his incredible maturity, his keen basketball intellect, and his superior statically production. I, however, only saw merit in his physical prowess—something he was blessed with; a “type-fact”, as Nietzsche would say.

It then occurred to me that this is all people really admire in the young man. All the hype, all the adulation seems to be predicated on his physicality—and, likewise, his youth. It’s like being captivated by a baby because it’s so young, or, more, topically, by Shaq for being extremely large, physically.

So, what then is the difference between Shaq and Lebron, you ask? Well, for one—actually, for three—Shaq has an NBA championship ring; three of them, to be exact. Lebron has none, and isn’t likely to win one until Shaq retires.

Thus, my particular problem with Lebron—the concept, not the person—is that expectations have already exceed what, unfortunately, he’ll ever accomplish. While Kobe still tries to create his own legendary mythology (slightly tarnished now, for obvious reasons) Lebron has yet to grope his way into the playoff and pay his dues. People should give this kid a chance to prove himself before anointing him or conferring on him any title fitting for a King.

The Cavs have been riding a six-game losing streak and appear to be discordant organizationally. Tonight, they play the Orlando Magic and will be hard pressed to prove whether or not they’re going to break out of the funk, or slip further into Eastern Conference obscurity.

Monday, March 07, 2005

It's the Guns stupid.... and the criminal background too.

Colby Cosh has been nearly unflappable over at the Shotgun (a.k.a the echo chamber) and at his own site, ColbyCosh.com, following the fall-out that has attended the killing of four RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, Alberta. An incredible conflation of the facts has been committed by Socon's (social conservatives) jumping, self-righteously, on the word marijuana as though it were alone the causa effectiva. Socon’s have neglected the fact that Mr. Roszko was "running a chop-shop for stolen cars", and handling something to the order of 20 grams of marijuana—hardly the type of weight worthy of being called a grow-op.

Even more, reactionaries from both ends of the political spectrum are eliding the body of evidence that is Mr. Roszko criminal record, which is indicative of his deviant pathology rather than reflective of the putative lax criminal penalties for operators of "grow-ops"—as if this incident were actually that one-dimensional.

Interestingly enough, Cosh is indefatigably burnishing his libertarian cred while dispensing forth on the merits of not only decriminalizing marijuana but legalizing and controlling the distribution of it—as it would deracinate the criminal-cartels from the process and prove fiscally salubrious for revenue strapped governments. Cosh draws the usual historical parallels between the flourishing of criminal syndicates during prohibition to the current state of our drug enforcement policy—the War on drugs, and whatnot—which is apt and instructive in light of the Mayerthorpe tragedy: criminal actors had an incredible economic incentive to bootleg alcohol since its criminalization both created a black market and inflated its price.

No doubt more ink will be spilled on the advantages and disadvantages of a more intelligent and contextually practicable drug (marijuana) policy. But the real issue, I think, that may avoid sober analysis is whether the four RCMP officers were prepared for what was to befall them that night? And, in a similar vain, whether people with the unsavory criminal background of a Mr. Roszko should register their weapons to a, let’s say, national gun registry —let alone own them.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Martha, Martha, Martha!!

Martha Stewart was just released from prision today and one could be led to believe, with all the ridiculous fanfare, that she was, instead, wrongfully convicted and did not, in fact, lie to federal investigators. To clear things up, she did, in fact, lie to federal investigators. For the next five months Ms. Stewart will be under house arrest in her plush, $16 million dollar Katonah estate in New York -- during which time she'll have the opporunity to accessorize the electronic ankle braclet that will monitor her every move. In addition, she'll be developing an Apprenticesque network show for NBC.

It's hearting to see an ex-con so quickly intergate back into civil society. Naturally, the court of public opinion is all that truly matters for Martha, as it's incredibly unlikely she'll have a problem finding gainful employment because of her criminal record.( Although, SEC regulations my prohibit her from helming a publicly traded company.) Look for a softer more endearing Martha Stewart in the months that follow, as she rolls out a public relations blitz to re-brand her hard, brusque image. So, much like I predicted in December's Year in Review, Martha Stewart will soon become an American folkhero.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


I'd like to post something substantial and of merit but it seems too often that my posts and blogging in general have become a tiresomely derivative enterprise. Every once and again it strikes me—the mood—to actually write something of substance. This particular post is the exception. I'm writing merely to know if the blogging absence has resulted in literary atrophy. How can I know if my prose style has deteriorated since my last post? Generally I scan through older post to be either surprised by my witticism and prescience (remember when I wrote that the Pope would pass away sometime in May; although now it looks more likely he'll shut it down in March) or appalled by my rambling incoherence—present post excluded—and lack of formal structure (House of Saud, House of Bush review)

With other things on the go, and a gradualy increasing torpor to many things political since November 2, 2004, writing posts, let alone reading political blogs, has become a bloodless distraction. Lately I've been more interested in reading fiction (Philip Roth specifically) and playing chess. Otherwise, I'm finding it difficult to be excited about, says, blogging on Social Security or Mid-East democratization—though it appears that the latter has some optics of fruitfulness. This apathy also dovetails into another problem with Blog content—for me at least. A sizeable portion of my blogroll is of American provenance; consequently, a sizeable amount of my content is about American politics. American politics, its foreign policy particularly, inherently has the gravity of hegemony. I can no easier deny American political and economic dominance than I can disregard the physical laws of our cosmos.

That being said, as goes Washington and New York, so goes the political and social realties that exist and are managed, or conceded, in whatever way your ideological doublespeak characterizes, just a few blocks from where I hang my hat—I don’t actually hang my hats; I was trying to integrate that turn of phrase into my sparse repertoire.

Therefore, is it any wonder so many Canadian bloggers write about American politics? To be fair, prominent bloggers, who are usually small c Conservative journalists—Wells, Cosh, Radwanski, Steyn (Syndicated columnist; writes on topics Americana and Canadiana), ect.—write substantially on Canadian politics. But then again, isn’t that their job?

Essentially, of the Canadian bloggers that I’ve read, who aren’t salaried conservatives, only one generally writes on Canadian public affairs. Chris Selley’s Tart Cider offers irreverent commentary, if almost analogues to Cosh.

The conclusions I draw from this wholly unreliable sampling are that 1) some, if not most, of Canadian bloggers, who aren’t on the Can-West payroll, blog infrequently on Canadian politics; 2) of these bloggers, with the exclusion or inclusion of said Can-West employees, some, if not most, lean right politically, with respect to the content they imbibe and expounde from; therefore 3) some, if not most, of the bloggers in the Canadian bloggesphere(Canblog) are markedly small c conservative.

I think conclusions 2 and 3 have some interesting implications. First, as regards 2, and despite my professions of being a pragmatist, my platonic ideological convictions disincline me from agreeing with a majority of commentary imbibed and expounded by right leaning Canadian bloggers. This is not to say that areas of consensus don’t exist, or that intelligent and informed counter-commentary isn’t likely to be found. On the contrary, some of the most trenchant blog commentary, I’ve read, is from the Can-West claque.

As per conclusion 3, demographics trends such as education, socio-economics, and cultural and regional differences could explain the preponderance of right-leaning blogs in the Canblog. The more interesting question is why am I, a liberal politically, so familiar right-leaning Canadian bloggers? The easy answer is that I’m only familiar with the prominent ones—who write extremely well, I may add. The liberal bloggers that I do read tend to be American and far more ideologically centrist, even more conservative, than conventional Ontarian Liberals or federal liberals—which explains the lack of Can-con on my blog; and the evolution of my thought on the Iraq war. But I should qualify all that I have said heretofore by noting that on the margins of the Canblog leftist commentary on social and economic justice—proletariats of the world unite!— flourishes.

The point I’m trying to make is that much of my blog content is political and more or less international—if you consider the totality of it relates to foreign policy issues. When I get the chance, I’ll usual add the Can-con that catches my interest. In the interim, I’ll start trying to post general interest content, from which I can blather needlessly—without substance, without merit, and, hopefully, without peer