Fired up


Michael Ignatieff’s speech to the Liberal caucus yesterday.



Fired up

  1. I did see a few clips of yesterday`s speech—forgive me if I cannot sit through the whole thing.

    The two words I think off when I recall his speaking style is " Anger Management ".

    He really has to learn to be emphatic without being angry.

  2. Stephen Harper hasn't displayed emotion since they cancelled the Waltons in 1981.

  3. Fired up? More like being ravaged by a dead sheep.

    Don't have time, nor inclination, to watch all 29 minutes but did watch brief clip at around 22 minutes. Very weird section of Iggy's speech because it sounded a bit like a repudiation of the last 40 years of Liberal rule in Canada. Canada less equal than when Iggy was child? Canadians don't want Big Government, don't want intrusive government?

    Thank Trudeau and his acolytes.

    The short section I watched is good explanation of what ails Liberals at the moment. Household debt is sky high because people are not allowed to keep enough of their money so are forced to make other arrangements. Ground under our feet was implemented long ago, every section of society is getting money or being looked after, we don't need more national programs.

    Liberals are betwixt and between if their leader is railing against big government and national programs and caucus is cheering wildly.

    "'The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money" M Thatcher

  4. Ahhh again with the Libertarian fantasy that if there were no taxes, you'd be a billionaire.

  5. Studies have shown that folks of a conservative persuasion do react more to fear and anger. They bond more around issues of fear and anger, They react more extremely against displays of aggressive demeanor. An oversensitive amygdala? who knows? But Stephen Harper has managed quite successfully a very flat affect.

  6. Tell us more about the findings of these mythical studies doug.
    The folks I know of the conservative persuasion tend to be the cool. confident, optimistic type.
    The liberal types are usually the ones loading up the comment pages with angry retorts and the streets with professional protesters when the world is not unfolding as they would like.

  7. I watched the speech, and I must admit it had some merit. Just imagine:

    -Free tuition – now it doesn’t matter if I pass or fail….I’ll get a do-over. I can even pick a useless degree

    -Free Nationalized day Care – because raising your own kids is so like,….yesterday.

    -Free money for not working – Guaranteed income for life.

    -Free pensions without ever having to make a contribution – I’ll never have to save anything again.

    -Free home care for mom and pop when they get older – because I can’t be bothered to care for my parents……unless there’s something in it for me. Why should I have to sacrifice?

    Yep, sounds pretty good to me.

    Unless of course, you are a person who:

    -paid your own way through school, or didn’t go to University and are now expected to subsidize someone else.

    -wants to raise your own kids

    -have worked your entire life, because you are not shiftless, useless, or a holder of a medical Marijuana certificate

    -has made continual contributions to a pension plan or RRSP

    -are willing to care for your parents yourself, WITHOUT expecting to be paid for it. Simply because at one time, families’ actually cared for their loved ones.

    Yep….the Liberal Plan sounds great for anyone who never has, nor expects to pay taxes.

  8. I never mentioned Corporate tax cuts or jets you'll note:

    simply because anyone with a modicum of knowledge about economics already knows how a tax cut works.

    Jets – same deal. Anyone who knows anything about the subject has a pretty good grasp of why they are needed.

    Everyone else….is just Emily and Holly Schtick.

  9. "Household debt is sky high because people are not allowed to keep enough of their money so are forced to make other arrangements"

    Americans have always been able to keep more of their money than us – how's their household debt doing?

    "…and the trouble with neo-conservavatives is you can only live on borrowed money, low taxes and high spending for so long."
    – Thatcher's unfinished thought.

    "God helps those whom God has already helped."

    A wag describing Reagan's political/philosophical worldview.

  10. From a liberal pov i thought it was a decent rally the troops sort of speech – in other words gag inducing to the new kind of con we have in this country right now.
    The ground under our feet/ no need for already low corporate tax cuts may well resonate with lots of people if it's cleverly juxtaposed with a message of reckless tory spending [ f35] [G8] and corporate tax cuts borrrowed on margin. Is that the honest full picture? No…of course not. But this is politics right? It'll be interesting to see who's propaganda the public buys. I have a sneaky feeling Ignatieff has found a successful strategy…possibly? – now, can he sell it competently?
    Not by any means suggesting a major liberal comeback – just a few more seats and taking a lot of wind out of Harper's sails. Flaherty's out selling today – they must just be a little worried?

  11. I would have to agree that based on what I see on these comment boards, the really really angry people tend to be Liberal supporters.

  12. well, here is a quick simple top level Google search based on the the auto return:

    Here's a Google Scholar search:

    Here's an article from Newsweek referencing the studies:

    "The evolutionary primacy of the brain's fear circuitry makes it more powerful than the brain's
    reasoning faculties. The amygdala sprouts a profusion of connections to higher brain regions—
    neurons that carry one-way traffic from amygdala to neocortex. Few connections run from the
    cortex to the amygdala, however. That allows the amygdala to override the products of the logical,
    thoughtful cortex, but not vice versa. So although it is sometimes possible to think yourself out of
    fear ("I know that dark shape in the alley is just a trash can"), it takes great effort and persistence.
    Instead, fear tends to overrule reason, as the amygdala hobbles our logic and reasoning circuits.
    That makes fear "far, far more powerful than reason," says neurobiologist Michael Fanselow of
    the University of California, Los Angeles. "It evolved as a mechanism to protect us from life-
    threatening situations, and from an evolutionary standpoint there's nothing more important than fear."

    and here, a summary of the studies, with references at the end, Not live links however, so the trail would seem to end:

    "Thus, the amygdala is one of the main areas of the brain that promote self-interest, and can interfere heavily with prefrontal activity originated cognition that has no positive self-interest. This is particularly true of the left amygdala, and its impact on political-religious disposition often leads to incongruent beliefs and behaviors. For example, there are many recipients of government payments and health care benefits that protest socialism and government health care, and the left amygdala, along with the left VMPFC, are two of the more prominent contributors to the strong hypocritical drive in humans.

    The apocalyptic reaction of many conservatives to the Obama Presidency has traces of the left amygdala written all over it. The amygdalar reactivity to opposite-race faces is the trigger for the fear that many conservatives have for Obama, and subsequently induces the fight or flight responses associated with amygdalar activation."

  13. References:
    F. Arana, J. Parkinson. E. Hinton, A. Holland, A. Owen. A. Roberts. Dissociable Contributions of the Human Amygdala and Orbitofrontal Cortex to Incentive Motivation and Goal Selection. The Journal of Neuroscience. October 2003.
    K. Blair, A. Marsh, J. Morton, M. Vythilingam, M. Jones, K. Mondillo, D. Pine, W. Drevets, J. Blair. Choosing the Lesser of Two Evils, the Better of two Goods: Specifying the Roles of Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex and Dorsal Anterior Cingulate in Object Choice. The Journal of Neuroscience. November 2006.
    W. Cunningham, M. Johnson, C. Raye, J. Gatenby, J. Gore, M. Banaji (2004). Separable neural components in the
processing of Black and White faces. Psychological Science, 15, 806–813.
    M. Gazzaniga ed. (2004) The Cognitive Neurosciences, MIT Press. Page 1006.

    J. Hardee, J. Thompson, and A. Puce (2008) The left amygdala knows fear: laterality in the amygdala response to fearful eyes. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 2008 3 (1): 47-54.
    A. Hart, P. Whalen, L. Shin, S. McInerney, H. Fischer, S. Rauch (2000) Differential Response in the Human Amygdala to Racial Outgroup vs Ingroup Face Stimuli. Neuroreport. 11, 2351-2355.
    J. Hibbing, D. Oxley, K. Smith, J. Alford, V. Hibbing, J. Miller, M. Scalora, P. Hatemi (2008) Political Attitudes Vary with Physiological Traits. Science. Vol 321. September 2008.
    K. Knutson, J. Wood, M. Spampinato, and J. Grafman (2006) Politics on the Brain: An fMRI Investigation. Social Neuroscience. 2006 March ; 1(1): 25–40.
    A. Mcdonald, F. Mascagni, and L. Guo (1996) Projections of the medial and lateral prefrontal cortices to the amygdala: a Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin study in the rat. Neuroscience. 1996 Mar;71(1):55-75.
    E. Phelps, K. O'Conner, W. Cunningham, S. Funayama, J. Gatenby, J. Gore, M. Banaji. (2000) Performance on indirect measures of race predicts amygdala activation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 12: 729-738.
    A. Pinkham, J. Hopfinger, K. Pelphrey, J. Piven, and D. Penn (2008) Neural bases for impaired social cognition in schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders. Schizophrenia Research. 2008 Feb;99(1-3):164-75.
    F. Previc (2006) The role of extrapersonal brain systems in religous activity. Consciousness and Cognition 15 (2006) 500-539.
    J. Richeson, A. Baird, H. Gordon, T. Heatherton, C. Wyland, S. Trawalter, J. Shelton (2003) An fMRI investigation of the impact of interracial contact on executive function. Nature Neuroscience. Nov 2003.
    D. Westen, P. Blagov, K. Harenski, C. Kilts, S. Hamann. (2006) Neural Bases of Motivated Reasoning: An fMRI Study of Emotional Constraints on Partisan Political Judgment in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 18: 1947-1958.
    P. Whalen, S. Rauch, N. Etcoff, S. McInerney, M. Lee, M. Jenike (1998) Masked presentations of emotional facial expressions modulate amygdala activity without explicit knowledge. Journal of Neuroscience, 18, 411–8. 

    P. Whalen et al. (2004). Human amygdala responsivity to masked fearful eye whites. Science, 306, 2061.
    C. Wright, H. Fischer, P. Whalen, S. McInerney, L. Shin, and S. Rauch (2001). Differential prefrontal cortex and amygdala
habituation to repeatedly presented emotional stimuli. Neuroreport, 12, 379–83.

  14. Now you've gone and done it!… quoted all those academic references. Just a guess; will not convince con partisans.

  15. A little trip over to the NP's boards might broaden your view – if you've got a really stong stomach why not drop by SDA?

  16. OK doug, I have read all those articles and checked out all the academic references ( yeah, right ) and I still don`t know why there is all those angry liberals out there.

  17. Most of what you wrote is just hilariously stupid, but this?

    "…are willing to care for your parents yourself, WITHOUT expecting to be paid for it. Simply because at one time, families' actually cared for their loved ones."

    This is just plain despicable. What a scummy thing to say. May you never have the misfortune of taking care of a loved one and watch them disappear. May you never be forced to contemplate selling your home because care is a 24 hr a day job, and that doesn't leave much time to earn some money. May you never have to come to the realization that you can't do this alone but that long term care facilities are expensive and you can't afford it.

    I'm deeply saddened and disgusted by your callousness.

  18. Stephen Harper is in Geneva co-chairing a UN meeting concerning the 40 billion dollar initiative to aid maternal and child health in the developed world.
    As far as I know there are no protesters there, so the meeting may not be " news " on these pages, however, somebody should mention that it is a worthy role for our Prime Minister.

  19. because your reading comprehension is very poor? or you're being obtuse, thinking it is cute and disarming?

  20. I continue to suspect that Ignatieff will be a far better campaigner than many people expect.

  21. Now you are displaying some of that anger I was talking about.

  22. I've visited the NP boards and I take your point, to a degree. However, I think the anger thing comes and goes depending on who's in power and who's not. As a general rule, if you're a political partisan, you're far more likely to be angry when you're on the outside looking in, rather than when your team's in power. I'm sure that if we looked at comment boards from, say, the Chretien-Martin era, the conservative-leaning comments would have been far angrier. Now, I find that a lot of pro-CPC commenters I see on here have a tone that's more triumphalist — consider hollinm, for instance. It's not gentlemanly or nice, but it's not angry per se. In contrast, a lot of partisan Liberal and Dipper commenters have palpable anger, calling conservatives mean and stupid, claiming all Albertans are stupid, making gratuitous comments about Harper being fat and mean, claiming that Harper and the Conservatives are destroying Canada as we know it, etc. I'm sure these people believe what they say, and think such anger is entirely justified but it is angry stuff.

  23. You're right Richard…….
    In fact, I wonder how families have been caring for loved ones for so long…without the Liberal Party.

    As for you being deeply saddened and disgusted……..so what? I'm not looking for your approval, and frankly, if your happiness depends on me…..you're in for a REAL disappointment.

    The part "Liberals" seem to forget…..is that many of us don't WANT to pay for you to look after your parents. Because taking money from our pocket, and putting it in yours means we have that much more trouble paying for OUR KIDS, and our own parents, who we choose to care for in our own way.

  24. James like Thatcher doesn't believe in society – just the myth of the self made man.

  25. No, really, I'm rolling my eyes and laughing.

    Why do you read anger into the words?

  26. Actually, Emily…..if you want to see what a REAL science blog looks like, go here. Be careful though….lots of ACTUAL numbers. It's real scienc-cy….so be careful. Wouldn't want you to have convulsions.

  27. You're a small, odious little man who apparently longs for a return to the 1920s

    Good luck with all of that.

  28. Sorry TimesArrow, but a Liberal breakthrough would involve getting rid of the current wannabe you have as leader.

    Of course, there are some Liberals just itching to cause and lose an election to get rid of Iggy, and I'm sure Iggy is looking forward to an excuse to get the hell out of Canada in any event.

    I'm sure he'd rather be teaching at Harvard, followed by long rests in his Villa in France.

  29. Oh dear i've offended some Thatcher acolytes. Might as well go for broke

    . Thatcher was an empathetically dysfunctional cow; she chose to use a broadsword on British society when a scalpel was needed, and a desire to bind up that which you've broken.

  30. I pretty much live on science blogs….real science, not a TV weather personality making money off rubes like yourself.

    Skipped over the point there tho, didncha Joe Republican? LOL

  31. That explains the failure of Blue's anecdotal evidence.

  32. Well see, JamesHalifax expects that his wife will be caring for the parents….when she's not caring for the kids that is.

  33. Call me all the names you want Richard…….I still don't want to pay for your freebies.

  34. I believe in society TimesArrow…..

    I just don't believe in the welfare state you envision.

  35. EMily….I've gone to the links you have provided.

    They aren't science blogs……they're acitivist blogs.

    You probably still think Al Gore is credible.

  36. I trust you return your HST credits and CCTBs if you have children, or are planning on doing so when you do have children? Surely you are planning on returning your old age pension when you retire.

    Wouldn't want you getting any "freebies" from the government now would we?

    (thankfully you've stopped being scummy and have returned to being hilariously stupid :)

  37. Since I've never provided any science links on here, I doubt that.

    The one link I've given here was because it was the first one I found that had the full Joe Republican statement.

    Which you still haven't addressed. LOL

  38. First comes Anger, the comes Denial……

  39. "A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man,
    which debt he proposes to pay off with your money."

    G. Gordon Liddy

  40. Don't forget Projection. Really, this conversation isn't engaging anymore.

  41. Has it ever occurred to you James, that the rise/implimentation of the hated welfare state coincided with a great explosion of wealth creation and the expansion and establishment of the middle class – you truly are an ignorant man.

  42. "I will make a bargain with the Republicans. If they will stop telling lies about Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them." Adlai Stevenson

  43. I agree. He's been prematurely written off. He's experienced in front of TV cameras, having been a TV host. He's comfortable in front of crowds. He'll never love the game the way Layton does, but I've always considered loving politics like Layton does to be almost a form of mental illness — it's just not normal to like doing politics like that.

  44. I also expect him to "win" the debate…for whatever that is worth.

  45. I prefer this one:

    "At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child – miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosphy of sniveling brats." — P.J. O'Rourke

  46. "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." JK Galbraith

  47. “You can only hold your stomach in for so many years”
    – Burt Reynolds

  48. BTW, a perfect display of what I'm talking about — i.e., Liberals being really angry — is over at Warren Kinsella's website today. There's a post of an excerpt from a speech relating to Trudeau. The comments section is basically a Liberal bile-fest. One choice bon mot is a Liberal saying "I Trudeau salute you." That seems pretty angry to me.

  49. "I sentence you to 20 years in prison."

    Judge who tried G. Gordon Liddy for conspiracy, burglary and illegal wiretapping during Watergate.

  50. Except your comment was "based on what I see on THESE comment boards"

    Notwithstanding a few commenters on these boards I think we'd all agree are blowhards (not naming names as we all know who come to mind – on the right AND the left), I don't think the tone on these boards is exceptionally angry. Certainly not compared to the Nat Post, Sun, or CBC boards, anyways (let alone Kinsella or SDA).

  51. Yes. But she will soon be made empathetically whole by Meryl Streep.

  52. G, Gordon Liddy. He oozes credibility. In fact, his blood smells like cologne!

  53. That's agreat Galbraith quote – undoubtedly one of my Canadian heroes.

  54. Sorry OB i tend to agree with Matlock – although i think your point about being on the os looking in is a valid one.

  55. Sorry RIchard….I make too much money to get tax credits for my kids.
    Retirement – I have savings, RRSP's, and TFSA's……I'm good thanks.
    Freebies – sorry, I pay far more in taxes than most people (who vote Liberal of NDP) make.

    As for my folks………I look after them myself. I don't need any $$ from you.

  56. Actually TimesArrow….the wealth you mentioned was created by Canadian citizens with skills, talent, and an entrepreneurial bent. Government itself had little to do with it…..it's the market place. ____Only folks without the aforementioned traits benefit from the Welfare State, though I don't mind helping out in some instances as long as people don't take for granted the largesse provided by those who actually make a contribution. ____Don't worry though Arrow…..my taxes will be paying your way for a few decades yet. You're good.________

  57. Anon Liberal…

    Hmmm….given the state of your party, and the fact your leader makes Stephane Dion look good……I too, would want to remain anonymous

  58. I see we've entered into the "making sht up" portion of the conversation…

  59. I think M either misunderstood my point, or I didn't express it as concisely as I should. What I meant was, on these Maclean's boards, I find the tone of Liberal and other anti-Conservative posters to be characteristically angry, in a comparative sense. There are tons of comments to the effect that Conservatives are stupid, Harper is evil, Harper is fat, Harper is a dicatator, Harper hates Canada, Harper and the Conservatives are destroying Canada as we know it, etc. Also, Albertans — Albertans are regularly trashed as being stupid, knuckle-dragging sheep. That is angry stuff.

    I agree, though, that these boards are civil compared to those other ones that Matlock cites.

  60. I don't think I misunderstood your point… those comments about Harper do indeed exist, my comment was that I think if you were to tally those comments up, the vast majority could be attributed to no more than four or five left-wing wingnuts here on these boards (who post a LOT).

    Likewise, I think we could pin down all the "Ignatieff is an elitist", "Ignatieff is in it for himself", "Ignatieff is a an evil Russian tsar" to about four or five right-wing wingnuts on these boards (who also post a LOT).

    My point is, notwithstanding these say, eight to ten people, I think the discussion on these boards is quite civil and reasoned.

  61. Ok, I take your point, I didn't catch the nuance. It would be interesting, I suppose, to carry out the kind of tallying-up analysis you describe there.

    Kinsella's website is interesting in that regard. There are some fairly informed, plugged in and thoughtful posters there. But, partly because it's explicitly a partisan website (notwithstanding WK's penchant for going on and off the official OLO bandwagon), there are a handful of absolute Liberal Party scortched-earth fire-breathers there. And my reaction is, if they're actually reflective of the LPC rank-and-file and/or braintrust, then I really wonder about the quality of analysis and advice circulating within LPC circles these days. I guess my point is, if you really see the world in such black-and-white terms, and if you really have that kind of contempt for anyone who disagrees with you, then I don't think you're capable of the kind of objective, reasoned analysis that's required in order to formulate and carry out a successful political strategy.

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