//Comment This Out

Monday, July 26, 2004

This Land Was Made To Sue You and Me

A very funny musical parody of the upcoming American election has been taking the Internet by storm. The parody is of the classical Guthrie song (This Land Is Your Land) with special Bush vs. Kerry lyrics. The flash animation is available from jibjab.com. Now, the owners of the original Guthrie song are upset and are threatening legal action due to copyright infringement. I remember from when I was a kid a Canadian children's musical group called the Travellers. They had made their own version of the Guthrie song, with Canadian specific lyrics. I wonder if they had paid royalties, otherwise they may find themselves in trouble too. Update:

I found some information on The Travellers. It has the following tidbit:

Their signature song is a Canadian adaptation of Woody Guthrie's 'This Land Is Your Land'.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

One Moore Thing

When Michael Moore appeared on TV here in June and told us not to vote for Harper, little did I know that technically speaking, he was violating Canadian law. A group has formed at the website ChargeMoore.com around the issue. Personally speaking, even though I was amazed at the guy's shear chutzpah, I would let this one go.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Searching for Bobby Fischer No More

Sorry, I just couldn't resist the title.   Bobby Fischer, the one time world chess champion from 1972 who then went into seclusion, has been arrested in Japan.   In between emerging once every 20 years to play chess tournaments, he's been busy making anti-Semitic and anti-American statements to some radio station in the Philippines.   For an explanation of the title, see this movie title.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Moore Free Advice For All

It seems that Michael Moore, director of a documentary that has nothing to do with a Ray Bradbury novel, is not only freely offering his "advice" to Americans in how they should vote, but he is also offering unsolicited advice for many other countries as well. A few weeks before the federal elections here, while on tour promoting his documentary, Moore was here in Toronto offering his "advice" as well. I saw him on TV where he told anyone who was watching that they shouldn't vote for Harper (that would be the leader of the Conservative party) since he would "send your children to Iraq". Aside from the fact that the Conservative platform never included plans to send Canadian soldiers to Iraq, nor was it even implied by any politician, he seems to forget that Canada, like the states, has a volunteer army. Thus, anyone who is signed up to the army is doing so out of their own free will thus should be fully aware that they can be sent anywhere into war. Nobody would be "sending anyone's children" anywhere unless those children, who can make such decisions, choose to be a part of it. Moore also tried pedaling the same nonsense in his movie where he tries to ask senators whether they would enlist their children in the army. If the senators were smart they would have answered that they support any career choice that their children made, including the army. Perhaps there were a few who did so, but I highly doubt they would have made it to the big screen.

Mother to Many

A frum, Jewish woman, with whom I have had an intimate relationship with over the years, has just started her own blog. Ok, ok, its my wife. Her blog is called A day in the life of a mother and will focus on motherhood and our children.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Make It So

In Star Trek, humans and aliens are governed by a body of government known as the United Federation of Planets, or the Federation for short. Trekkies (of which I was a mild one until the numerous "alien of the week" plotless episodes finally took their toll) like to point out that the Federation is analogous to the United Nations, where planets parallel nations and everyone has a say. I would like to point out that the UN is nothing like the Federation, though it may be a good idea that it should. In the Trek universe, not every planet is allowed admission into the Federation. It must meet certain criteria. It must meet certain technological standards. It also must meet a standard of morality and be democratic. I remember an episode from the Next Generation where a planet's application to become a member was rejected due to how it shamefully treated former soldiers. Unfortunately, the UN is nothing like that. The UN includes everyone that is defined as a "nation", and even gives "observer" status to a non-nation. In doing so, it manages to include nations that are thoroughly undemocratic and have a poor human rights records. These nations then "gang up" and vote in blocks, hijacking the whole process. It would be nice that if, instead of the UN, there was a "UDN", a "United Democratic Nations" which would only include democratic nations and endevour to spread democracy amongst non democratic nations. One can only dream.