Radio Topics for October 28th

Welcome to the last Tuesday of November. It is also the start of our annual funding drive. We’ll have a series of giveaways for those that call and contribute during the show tomorrow, but as an added incentive for every $50 raised during our program, Adam will run up 1 level of stairs at Dunton Tower while discussing some finer point of the topic of the day. I was the lucky bastard last year, and Padraic Ryan suffered the year before. You can here Padraic’s ascent here. So, even if you don’t listen to CKCU much, if you want to help make Adam’s lungs explode, donate a little bit. For information on how to donate click here.

At 8:15 Mike will be speaking with Andrew Cohen about his new biography on Lester B. Pearson. We will also have our usual mix of news, music, concert listings and community announcements. As per usual we air on CKCU 93.1fm in Ottawa. For those out of town we you can listen to us on the web at www.ckcufm.com by clicking on the listen live link.

Canada’s own Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the disappearance of thousands of aboriginal children.

Speculation continues on the Liberal leadership race, expect it to end in May.

Closed Circuit TV comes to BC streets.

In a sad note, Carleton student and army reservist Arielle Keyes-Oliver, was killed during military exercises in Petewawa.

Add Syria to the list of countries whose sovereignty the US has violated while pursuing the war on terror.

Want to keep pet chickens in Nova Scotia? You arer out of luck says the courts.

Report blames gigantic sewage spill of August 2006 on incompetence.

Its official, Ontario to run a $500 million deficit.

It’s Funding Drive Time!

While regular topics will come later tonight, I figured funding drive deserved it’s own post.

CKCU is in the midst of its annual funding drive, where over 16 days we raise 1/3 of the station’s operating budget via donations from individual listeners. This year’s goal is $108,000, as of this posting they had raised $22,000 and change.

The station does lots of important work in the community- offering the broadest range of programming, the widest and best selection of music, and top-notch spoken word programming (to which I contribute through the Tuesday Special Blend.) So, if you enjoy CKCU (or even if you just enjoy the podcast variant of Adam’s and my show), please consider making a donation – every little bit helps, and every dollar goes directly to keeping CKCU on for another year.

We’ll have a series of giveaways for those that call and contribute during the show tomorrow, but as an added incentive for every $50 raised during our program, Adam will run up 1 level of stairs at Dunton Tower while discussing some finer point of the topic of the day. I was the lucky bastard last year, and Padraic Ryan suffered the year before. You can here Padraic’s ascent here. So, even if you don’t listen to CKCU much, if you want to help make Adam’s lungs explode, donate a little bit.

Here’s how to donate:

Email me! hourtwo@gmail.com. I can take pledges, and then the station will send you an envelope to send a cheque.
Phone! 520-CKCU between 7 and 8 this tuesday (Tomorrow!) or next (next Tuesday!), 520-3920 or 877-520-3920 between 8 and 9am.
Internets! Go to ckcufm.com and click on the donate button. No need to talk to people! Be sure to list “Tuesday Special Blend” as the show you are supporting.

Sleep in tomorrow? No worries- just pledge online and/or drop me a note, and I’ll be sure that your pledge is counted against the show.

John Ralston Saul on “A Fair Country”

Last week, I spoke with John Ralston Saul on his book A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada. This is the interview. Please note he is referring to his appearance at the Ottawa International Writer’s Festival, which was this past Sunday.

Saul is an excellent author: he creates prose that is engaging and interesting, drawing the reader in even if regardless of whether they buy the argument. That’s at least where I am- A Fair Country, at least in the first third, is a book about the origins of Canada’s political culture. There are a couple of broad thoughts as to how Canada’s political culture was formed: the first looks at ideas being imported by people that come to the country (so, the loyalists brought a deference to authority, as an example), the other looks to the evolution of attitudes based on events (the Act of Union forces English and French Canada to work together, producing bi-culturalism.) I tend to think the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Saul takes a different approach: Canada, he says, is a Metis Nation, suggesting that the aboriginal influence on Canadian political culture is as important as all the rest, if not more important. Essentially, most of the modern things that we take pride in as Canadians, such as cultural cooperation, he ties back to an aboriginal influence, with more or less a straight line.

And I just don’t buy it. Certainly, Canada’s aboriginal population played an important role in Canada’s early development- remember that through much of the 17th century, New France had a direct commercial relationship with aboriginals, and relied on them to help expand and defend the colony. But really, I think much of Canada’s cultural identity, at least as we know it now, really doesn’t start to emerge before a couple of hundred years ago, as you saw massive migration into the country of European settlers. And I don’t just mean loyalists and Quebeckers, because by the beginning of the 20th century Canada was quickly filling itself with people from all across the world (or at least all across Europe), and, with a country that largely still needed to be built we had to quickly figure out ways of working together.

Also (and perhaps a bit flippantly), given that Canada put its best efforts, to say the least, into diminishing the role of Aboriginal culture for much of the last 300 years, if you accept Saul’s argument it certainly did take a while for the aboriginal parts of our culture to benefit Canada’s aboriginals.

None of this should be taken that the book is bad, it’s just that I disagree. The role of public intellectuals like Saul isn’t to feed an intellectual echo box, it is to introduce new ideas into the discussion. Saul takes a different direction than most, which get’s us all talking about why we think and act the way we do. That’s always a good discussion to have, so that’s the value in the book.

It should be noted that he pivots in the second half of the book, which becomes more of a lament for what Canada should be, outlining a series of various faults from ineffective elites, who are unwilling or unable to set us in the right direction, to a chapter criticizing Ottawa that has lead to predictable responses from the usual suspects. This is the more interesting part of the book, and I think raises some useful insights into contemporary Canada. That said, I’m not sure part two can exist or be properly appreciated without part 1, so don’t skip ahead.

Fun Tuesday Special Blend fact: I think it is fair to say that of all the interviews Adam and I have done, Saul is probably the only person that has lived in a house important enough to justify tour guides.

Radio Topics for October 21st

Recover from the post-election hangover and listen to Adam and Mike this Tuesday morning. This Tuesday we will be joined by fellow Carleton University Debating Society member Simon Cameron. At 8:06, right after the BBC news, Mike will be speaking with Andrew Nikiforuk, the author of Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent. At 8:30 Adam will be speaking with A.B. McKillop, the author of Pierre Burton: A Biography. We will also have our usual mix of news, music, concert listings and community announcements. As per usual we air on CKCU 93.1fm in Ottawa. For those out of town we you can listen to us on the web at www.ckcufm.com by clicking on the listen live link.

Stephan Dion joins Edward Blake as the only Liberal leader to never be prime minister.

Voter turnout drops down below 60%.

Maybe it isn’t such a bad idea to run a deficit?

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resource is serious about you not drinking unpasteurized milk.

Another new plan for Lansdown Park.

Wal-Mart closes show were historic union contract was imposed.

Taliban targeting Christian aid workers specifically.

Kinsella on “The War Room”

It’s been almost 11 months since I interviewed Warren Kinsella about his book The War Room, and this is just one of many of the interviews I have in queue to be posted pending me writing something down about them- I’m a man of great ambitions, but easily distracted. Anyway, this seems as good a time as any to get this one up.

My abrigid thoughts: I really enjoyed the book- Kinsella is an engaging story teller, and this book aptly shows that. It was pitched at the time as more of a “how to”, and to an extent it is, but the “how” is all in a series of anecdotes and examples, mostly from his own experience, but some from elsewhere, notably James Carville. Essentially, if you dig his blog, you’ll probably like this.

As an aside- remembering that this was recorded 11 months ago- note that Kinsella suggests that there is a certain amount of foolishness in how the Tories were prepping their War Room. That seems pretty prescient after a month of election.

Radio Topics: October 14th

Happy Election Day! As always, we air on 93.1 FM in Ottawa, www.ckcufm.com for everyone from away or without radios.

Tuesday, Adam and I will be speaking with John Ralston Saul about A Fair Country, his new book, at 7:30am. At 8:30, we’ll be joined by Marie-Josee Houle to talk about her new CD “Monsters.” For those in the know, Mr. Saul will be appearing at the Ottawa International Writers Festival on Sunday the 19th.  Marie-Josee is launching her new album at the NAC on Thursday.

But there is more! We’ll conclude our coverage of the federal election, touching on some of the following:

- Dion, misunderstood questions, and restarted interviews

- More on the Cadman tape

- The ups and downs in the last week of horse race

- Vote Strategically, greens told not told

- Speaking of which, take a look at voteforenvironmentl.ca

- Chretien’s back!

- Isn’t it nice to see the Conservative platform

- And Adam’s and my predictions, which you should not assume will be exactly the same as everyone else is guessing

In other news:

Gay author no longer allowed to speak to New Brunswick students.

Providing $25 billion to banks is in no way a bailout.

Bail restrictions on Harkat to be loosened.

Parliamentary Budget office releases costs of Afghan war, sort of.

This week in banning things: young people using tanning booths.

Mayfair gets heritage designation.

Campus Party Leaders

This past Tuesday, Adam and I had a discussion with Carleton representatives from the Liberal, NDP, and Green Parties. We had also invited the Conservatives, but they were unable to attend.

Radio Topics for October 7th

One week until the election. It also seems that summer has finally disappeared for real this time. Either way tune in and listen to Adam and Mike this Tuesday morning from 7-9. This week from 8:10 until 8:30 we will have representatives from each of the four major parties campus clubs on the air to discuss the issues in this election. We will also have our usual mix of news, music, concert listings and community announcements. As per usual we air on CKCU 93.1fm in Ottawa. For those out of town we you can listen to us on the web at www.ckcufm.com by clicking on the listen live link.

Largest drop in the markets so far on the second “Black Monday” of the year. Maybe they need a new description for markets that nose-dive on Mondays?

And it hits home, possibly driving Ontario into deficit.

Bus driver takes off with a two year old child still on board while mother chases after the bus.

McCain hurting in national polls…

and has shut it down in Michigan.

Election 2008
Economic Crisis is hurting Harper’s poll numbers.
Stephen Harper really respects John Howard and Mike Harris…enough to use their speeches.
Fired candidate count: NDP is up to 4
The people have spoken and Stepher Harper has won…the English leaders debate.
We finally get a platform from the Tories.

Talks with the Taliban?