The critical flaw in our Iraq War strategy and why we are making it worse

Last November Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told Congress how we could defeat ISIS in Iraq without deploying U.S. combat troops. He was surprisingly blunt about the precarious scenario required to achieve this objective.

On Pope Francis

I feel the need to write about the Pope tonight. I’ve been in a couple of debates lately about him and I want to expand on how I see him.

First, let me say I have big differences with Pope Francis. I don’t like that he is still against marriage, civil unions, and adoption for my LGBT friends. I don’t like the free speech quip he gave in the wake of Charlie Hebdo, though with that, I think he was meaning we should be careful of our speech, but that’s neither here nor there; he could’ve meant we shouldn't have it. I don’t like that he is still against any contraception save for the rhythm method. I don’t like that he didn't do an en masse opening of files to hold all priests accountable that were in the child molestation scandal. I don’t like that he is not quite warm to considering women for priesthood. And I don’t like that he is not fully on board with the Nuns on the Bus. There are other things too, I just can’t think of them off the top of my head.

I’m a liberal, a big leftie left leftist, to be honest, so really I didn't expect to like the Pope much, if at all. In my lifetime, we've never had a Pope that was even close to saying much of anything that in my opinion could help the people of the world. I was raised Catholic, and the Popes have always been hardline dogmatists, and what with my heretical beliefs, what they said never held much water with me. And like me, there are a ton of us liberals (at least post John XXIII) who've never really liked a Pope, and who aren't likely to like this one, save for a Pope who effects wholesale change of most or all of the faults of Church dogma.

To many of my fellow lefties’ chagrin, I look at this particular Pope a little differently. It’s definitely not that I forgive him for those things that I don’t like about him; forgiveness of that would require forgiveness of also the Church, and unless things change in the dogma, that isn't going to happen. And yes, I know we are supposed to strive to forgive, but I am not close to that point yet; I am only – and very – human. This brings me to the point about how I feel about this Pope.

It's now anti-semitism in Canada to protest Israel's actions

Our Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird has just resigned. He has had enough partying on the tax payers' dollar and protecting Israel so it's time to move through the revolving door to the corporate world. His final letter to the public in the Globe & Mail was boastful to say the least. The backlash in the comments was "good riddance to bad rubbish."

Friday Music Quiz

I made this music video several months ago as a music quiz one night at The Evening Blues. I present it here to tease the brains of you 99percenter music aficionados. Guess who the singer/songwriter is and win a night on the town with John McCain and Lindsey Graham (disclaimer: prize subject to availability). Joe Shikspack is not eligible and Tim, if you remember this you are also disqualified.