TaylorOwen.com: Have the Taliban Changed their Tune on Women’s Rights?

Crossposted at opencanada.org’s Dispatch blog I find that the subject of women’s rights in Afghanistan is a difficult one to engage with. To some, the shocking standard to which women were treated under the Taliban represents a key reason for our presence there. To others, the goal of gender equality is a PR front for ...

TaylorOwen.com: More on the Integrity of the Comprehensive Approach

Crossposted at opencanada.org’s Dispatch blog I just had a conversation regarding my last post with a NATO Public Diplomacy official. In short, my argument was that in RC-N the ANP appear incapable of holding villages so that the building can take place, and that there are vastly more resources focused on the military component on ...

TaylorOwen.com: Notes from Mazar e Sherif: Tactical Challenges, Strategic Quagmire

Crossposted at opencanada.org’s Dispatch blog I am writing this on my phone from a c160 flying from mazar e sharif to herat where we have spent the past 48hrs. This morning, we awoke to the news that last night insurgents struck an international hotel in Kabul.  This felt a world away, and frankly, neither surprises ...

TaylorOwen.com: First Impressions from ISAF HQ in Kabul

Crossposted at opencanada.org’s Dispatch blog I am in Afghanistan as part of a NATO TOLA tour. On Friday the six participants met in Brussels for a day of briefings at the NATO HQ, and then flew to Kabul together.  For 8 days, we are to be treated to incredible access to civilian, military and Afghan ...

TaylorOwen.com: The Munk Debates, Henry Kissinger and Polite Company

Crossposted at opencanada.org’s Disptach blog For the past few years I have worked on the Munk Debates. Officially, I am the Research Director. Unofficially, I help out however I can and get to be a part of a unique and fun event. The debate last week was on China and featured Henry Kissinger and Fareed ...

TaylorOwen.com: Four Ways to Reinvigorate the Canadian Foreign Policy Debate

Crossposted at opencanada.org’s Dispatch blog Last fall, I participated in a workshop hosted by L’Idée Fédérale, a think tank in Montreal headed by one of our Roundtable bloggers, André Pratte.  The topic was modest – “A Bold New Vision for Canada” – and we were all tasked with presenting on an aspect of our changing ...

TaylorOwen.com: Welcome to opencanada.org

For the past eight months I have had the thrill of working with the CIC to answer the following question: what if the CIC wanted to build the online hub for international affairs discussion in Canada?  The challenge was to merge an organizational website, with a media platform.  http://opencanada.org, is our first iteration of the ...

gritchik: Confirmation that Rob Ford is a moron

This is insanity. Ford campaigned on a promise not cut city services and now he’s about to make $740 million in major service cuts. Including, eliminating 2,000 subsidized daycare spots, late-night TTC service, reducing the police force and eliminating public health programs that fund AIDS prevention strategies. Rob Ford – both a liar and stupid.

gritchik: Tim Hudak: A wolf in PC clothing

A friend reminded me of this today – are we really surprised at Hudak’s dodgy behaviour this week? “Like his rhetoric, Hudak’s delivery often seems calculated and over-rehearsed. Worse, he’s given to a wolfish grin so alarmingly toothy it has men patting their wallets and women checking the buttons on their blouse.”

gritchik: Tim Hudak is “gutless”

From the Ottawa Citizen: “There’s nothing wrong with being pro-choice or pro-life, both are honourable positions. What is wrong is a potential premier dodging the issue. That’s gutless and misleading to voters. Hudak hasn’t gone all the way to making his position clear, but he’s getting there. The PC leader should state his position, get ...

Critical Brain Candy: I’ve figured out RIM’s problem

Here’s a look at RIM’s stock price over the last 5 years, noting when I entered and left the company. Coincidence? However, noting where I bought RIM stock and where it is right now would make me very sad.

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

Ahem. Mood music, maestros: Thank you, fellas, that was…uh…lovely. Okay. Here goes. I saw this comment piece, by someone hilariously named Ally Fogg, in the Grauniad last night. It was an eye-roller, to say the least, full of blanket assertions and straw(wo)men, and depressingly light on facts, although a lot of whiny male commenters seemed ...

gritchik: Hudak “walks away” from abortion question

“…the Opposition Leader refused to say if he still opposes abortion, walking away from the microphone when reporters asked repeatedly if he still considered himself pro-life. The Campaign Life Coalition, an anti-abortion group, said Hudak was “solidly” opposed to abortion when he first ran for provincial office in 1995, but since then has not responded ...

gritchik: Premier McGuinty supports a woman’s right to choose

“…Premier Dalton McGuinty is forthright about his stand on abortion. Spokeswoman Jane Almeida said: McGuinty “supports a woman’s right to choose. … The McGuinty government has always held this position and will continue to stand up for Ontario women’s right to choose.” No more waffling Tim: what do you support?

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Fight Fox

It’s the crime story of the decade, and maybe as important as Wikileaks. Help take down News Corp. to limit the power of Murdoch. The following is an email from Avazz: – Wow! In just a few days almost 10000 of us have donated to take on Murdoch’s global media empire! Let’s turn the scandal ...

gritchik: Tim Hudak needs to answer these questions

Hudak’s quoted as saying the following in an article on a pro-life website: “I may have signed a petition from my riding in that respect but listen, I’ve been clear — we would not reopen this debate,” he said, according to the Toronto Sun. “I said that throughout our leadership campaign.” “There’s been a law ...

gritchik: Is he or isn’t he?

I’m hearing that Hudak was asked earlier today about his position on a woman’s right to choose. And that he wouldn’t/didn’t answer the question. Either Hudak is in favour of women’s reproductive rights or he’s not. C’mon Tim, Ontarians deserve to know – which is it?

Those Emergency Blues: Get Me the Frickin’ Goat!

If only there was a magic goat. Part of an advertising campaign from the Nova Scotia Ministry of Health Promotion and Protection aimed at reducing harm from high risk behaviours. According to the No Magic Goat website: 911 is your friend. The goat, not so much. (She bites, for one). She’s cute and furry, but ...

gritchik: Campaign Life Coalition scrubs Hudak’s abortion statement

Thanks to Fern Hill for letting me know. How about someone in the MSM asking Hudak exactly what his views are on abortion? It’s important, don’t you think?

gritchik: Hudak’s anti-choice position

Hudak believes government’s role is to be pro-life. Screw the law, I guess.

gritchik: Hudak’s position on abortion

Responding to a request for his position on abortion: “I believe that it is the government’s role to promote the choice of life in childbearing decisions, to encourage women to carry the babies to term and, if the child is unwanted, to give them up for adoption.” [Letter to CLC, May 23, 1995] Abortion is ...

gritchik: You should pay attention to this

If the thought a Tim Hudak led provincial Conservative government didn’t make you nervous before, this should make you downright scared.  There is nothing “progressive” about these conservatives.

Slap Upside The Head: Des Nouvelles De L’Avenir

Good day to you, gentlemen, gentleladies and other various gentlepeople. It is I, Professor Flamingo Jones of the University of Oxbridgeshire, writing to you once again. For the next week or so, Mark, the author of Slap Upside the Head, has graciously agreed to accompany me on a research expedition to France. Our primary goal ...

Critical Brain Candy: Sad times for RIM

This was an interesting read: Inside RIM: An exclusive look at the rise and fall of the company that made smartphones smart. I really want to root for RIM.  I worked there for a bit, I have many friends working there, and they are a hugely positive part of my local community.  But, shortly after ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Montreal

April and I showed up in Montreal yesterday afternoon, after a few nights in Ottawa. While in the capital, we toured Parliament, and I saw Elizabeth May’s desk, tucked away in the back corner away from the Speaker’s chair. I also used Bixi bikes at $5/24hours to get over to Hull quickly, and took a ...