An amazing piece of history that is still relevant today.
It’s the story of a place called Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do.
They even had a Parliament. And every four years they had an election. Used to walk to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats.
Now if you think it strange that mice should elect a government made up of cats, you just look at the history of Canada for last 90 years and maybe you’ll see that they weren’t any stupider than we are.
Now I’m not saying anything against the cats. They were nice fellows. They conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws–that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren’t very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouseholes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at certain speeds–so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much effort.
All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on the mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn’t put up with it any more, they decided something had to be done about it. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in the white cats.
Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: “All that Mouseland needs is more vision.” They said:”The trouble with Mouseland is those round mouseholes we got. If you put us in we’ll establish square mouseholes.” And they did. And the square mouseholes were twice as big as the round mouseholes, and now the cat could get both his paws in. And life was tougher than ever.
And when they couldn’t take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and put the black ones in again. Then they went back to the white cats. Then to the black cats. They even tried half black cats and half white cats. And they called that coalition. They even got one government made up of cats with spots on them: they were cats that tried to make a noise like a mouse but ate like a cat.
You see, my friends, the trouble wasn’t with the colour of the cat. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice.
Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea. And he said to the other mice, “Look fellows, why do we keep on electing a government made up of cats? Why don’t we elect a government made up of mice?” “Oh,” they said, “he’s a Bolshevik. Lock him up!” So they put him in jail.
But I want to remind you: that you can lock up a mouse or a man but you can’t lock up an idea.
In “THE 99,” Naif Al-Mutawa’s new generation of comic book heroes fight more than crime — they smash stereotypes and battle extremism. Named after the 99 attributes of Allah, his characters reinforce positive messages of Islam and cross cultures to create a new moral framework for confronting evil, even teaming up with the Justice League of America.
- Superheroes inspired by Islam: Naif Al-Mutawa on TED.com (ted.com)
- WHAM! BAM! ISLAM! A documentary about Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa (buzfairy.com)
- Middle East: Comic-Book Heroes Help Change Image of Islam (nytimes.com)
From Ian Morrison, Friends of the CBC:
Using phony surveys and trumped-up petitions, the Conservatives are attempting to show that Canadians do not support the CBC.
In the last few days, I have seen these surveys with my own eyes. Supporters of public broadcasting need to respond, and quickly.
Just today, I saw that Rob Anders, the Conservative MP for Calgary West, is circulating an online petition to the House of Commons calling on the Harper government to “end public funding of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation”
On top of this, Irving R. Gerstein, Chair of the Conservative Fund Canada has sent a “National Critical Issues Survey” to financial supporters. Gerstein’s survey contains only ten questions.
Question 8 reads “In recent years, CBC funding has exceeded a billion dollars per year. Do you think taxpayers receive good value or bad value from the CBC?”
Gerstein writes: “I would like to report to our caucus on where you stand on some key issues facing Canada”. He adds: “This survey is very, very important to our legislative planning”.
So, Prime Minister Harper’s closest colleague in the Conservative Party thinks that CBC funding is a “critical issue” – one of the top ten questions facing Parliament in the coming session.
Another Conservative, Ed Holder, the MP for London West’s website currently has an online questionnaire: “Do you believe taxpayers should continue to provide funding to CBC Radio?”
These kinds of phony public opinion soundings stand in sharp contrast to Harper’s Heritage Minister James Moore who, just four months ago said: “We believe in the national public broadcaster. We have said that we will maintain or increase support for the CBC. That is our platform and we have said that before and we will commit to that”.
You and I have to make sure that Harper and his caucus hear loud and clear from Canadians that they care deeply and unequivocally about their CBC.
We urgently need to raise $32,000 to cover the cost of public opinion research to answer Gerstein’s question and establish, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the popularity of CBC with 34 million Canadians.
Please help us deliver a strong message to the Prime Minister that Canadians value public broadcasting. Harper needs to hear the answer to Gerstein’s question – not just from Conservative Party funders – but also from everyday Canadians of all political stripes.
In return for your investment in FRIENDS’ public opinion research, I will brief you on the results and keep you in the loop on our crucially important campaign to defend Canadian public broadcasting in the weeks ahead.