Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

An affiliate blogger of ours can use our (and your) help.

I wanted to post this to our frontpage. Alheli Picazo has been a blogging affiliate of ours for a fair # of years, though she has gone in fits and spurts.. and this is partially due to her health issues she has suffered. Those have come to a head, as you’ll see here in her own words, explaining what is going on with her health.

To be brief, she needs help financially to help pay for the operation to fix the issues she has faced, so if you can spare even a few dollars, it will go a long way. Please consider donating to help her.


DeSmogBlog: DeSmogCAST 9: U.S. Oil Exports Up, Kinder Morgan’s Secrets and Teens Sue for the Climate

In this episode of DeSmogCAST host Farron Cousins joins DeSmog cast Carol Linnitt and Justin Mikulka to discuss how recent changes in the global oil market, combined with a language change regarding crude oil, have led to an increase in U.S. oil exports. We also discuss a new ruling in Canada that allows pipeline company Kinder Morgan to keep its emergency response plans for the Trans Mountain pipeline in British Columbia a secret. We end on a positive note, reflecting on the bold actions of two teenagers in Oregon who are taking their elected leaders to court (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Gruending On John A. & Clearing The Plains

Since James Daschuk’s Clearing The Plains came out last year Canadian’s have been forced to reassess  John A. MacDonald’s place in the pantheon of Canadian heros.  Among a fair bit of back-and-forth on the subject, Dennis Gruending’s short piece stands out.  My favorite bit from it:

In Macdonald’s case, his attitude about the inferiority of indigenous people was commonplace at the time, but the scope of his actions presents a problem for his defenders. Did he use starvation and near starvation as a weapon against indigenous people in Western Canada whose communities had been decimated by loss of the bison? (Read more…)

Morton's Musings: Snow day

Of the Law Societies of Upper Canada and Nunavut

Morton's Musings: Consecutive and concurrent sentences

Cumulative punishments are known as consecutive sentences. This only applies to jail sentences, all other sentences run concurrently.

All sentences are presumed to be served concurrently. The Code provides for cumulative punishments at section 718.3:


Cumulative punishments(4) The court or youth justice court that sentences an accused may direct that the terms of imprisonment that are imposed by the court or the youth justice court or . . . → Read More: Morton’s Musings: Consecutive and concurrent sentences

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Sunday reading.

- Nicholas Kristof writes about the empathy gap which causes far too many wealthier citizens to devalue those who don’t have as much. Jesse Singal observes that the primary effect of wealth on well-being is to reduce downside rather than improve happiness – signalling that we might be best served pursuing policies aimed at improving financial security across the income scale. And Lucy Mangan discusses what’s missing from the people who refuse to understand the effect of poverty – particularly when they’re best positioned to do something to alleviate it: Politicians, for example, are (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Religion’s Twelve Deadly Sins

Alternet’s Valerie Tarico has written an insightful piece about 12-concepts, integral to organized religions, that “promote conflict, cruelty, suffering and death rather than love and peace.”

First up is the concept of “chosen people” – that separates believers from non-believers, the believers alone linked to God.   Then there’s the companion concept of “heretics.”  Again, non-believers.  Call for the headsman!

Religions have also introduced us to the notion of Holy War.  Gott Mit Uns, that sort of thing.  When Muslims do it we call it Jihad.  When we do it, it’s just getting (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Religion’s Twelve Deadly Sins

The Disaffected Lib: A Nation Vexed by Anti-Vaxxers?

There’s a cult in the United States that’s come to be called the “Anti-Vaxxers.” The term describes parents who prevent their kids from receiving ordinary medical vaccinations. They claim the vaccines are a greater threat to their children’s health than the diseases they’re intended to protect the kids against.

A recent study found that these anti-vaxxers often live in clusters, such as California’s Orange County, increasing the prospects for transmission of the diseases against which their children are unprotected.

For the most part the anti-vaxxers are liberals who have allowed themselves to lapse into belief-based instead of fact-based decision (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, Week 3: A Mountie mourned; a politician quits; a football deflates.

Following the utterly pointless shootings of two RCMP officers in St. Albert, the question was asked: why was Shawn Rehn, the killer, walking free? It’s a good question. Rehn was a longtime scumbag, having served prison time for various misdeeds. He should have served more time, probably, but didn’t. He apparently stole the truck that the ill-fated Mounties had come to investigate. As the facts became clearer, it appears Rehn was just another minor league punk pushed through the overburdened judicial system, a bad guy, a career petty criminal, who was likely one crime away from a long prison term. (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Rochon on the Bank of Canada’s Decision to Lower the Rate of Interest

Louis-Philippe Rochon—who now blogs for CBC—argues that almost nobody had been expecting the Bank of Canada’s recent decision to lower the rate of interest.

His post can be found here.

Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon.

wmtc: let them stay week 2015: january 25-31: make your voice heard

Allan guest post

Since September 2014, seven US Iraq War resisters have received negative decisions in their cases. Two veterans were given removal dates (i.e., dates by which they must leave the country). One resister received a stay of removal and the government rescinded the second removal order at the last minute. These reprieves are extremely good news, but war resisters and their loved ones continue to feel stress and uncertainty.

The timing of these initial negative decisions was odd. After no movement on any cases for more than a year, seven cases — allegedly independent of one (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: It is recess time in the Ontario PC leadership.

It is like a middle school recess time. You should not need playground monitors but it is still a good idea to periodically look outside and make sure there are no brawls. We are pleased to report that nothing very much is happening that was not expected to happen.

What we can tell you is that everyone is in place and playing nice. The cut-off for nominations is the end of January and there does not appear to be anyone else rushing to get more signatures in ten electoral districts. The next important date is February 28 when the membership (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: The Incremental Dictatorship

A guest post by Pamela Mac Neil In order for a government to be all powerful, it must dominate all of the major democratic institutions in a society and it must be very adept, when seeking to change the democratic nature of these institutions, at hiding its inner workings while making that change. The Harper government is a fundamentally anti-democratic entity that caters to the agenda of the corporate elite. The decisions that shape all aspects of Canada’s democratic institutions are made largely in private behind closed doors. Underlying the rise of Harpers authoritarian state is a hidden politics. Harper (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice – Eloquence

‘Nuff said.

Filed under: Religion Tagged: Bible, Christianity, DWR Sunday Religious Disservice, Science

Northern Reflections: Neo-Liberalism: The Undying Monster


Neo-Liberalism came to Canada long before Stephen Harper came to Ottawa. It was ushered into public policy by Brian Mulroney, who privatised crown corporations like Air Canada and Petro Canada. Jean Chretien and Paul Martin contributed to its juggernaut by signing NAFTA and by introducing fiscal restraint.

But Donald Gurstin argues in his book, Harperism: How Stephen Harper And His Think Tank Colleagues Have Transformed Canada, that neo-liberalism’s entrenchment in this country is the result of the long hard work of organizations like the Fraser Institute, the Frontier Centre and the Macdoanld-Laurier Institute:

As of (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s Canada: Where Cons and Idiots Roam

Oh boy. It's lucky that where I live it's impossible to not know that I live in the Great White North.Because if it wasn't, I might wonder whether I'm still living in Canada, or whether Stephen Harper has already changed it beyond recognition.

For it really is hard to believe that if you type "Stephen Harper was" into the Google search machine.This is what comes up? Read more »

Alberta Diary: Danielle Smith to former Wildrose supporters: I didn’t leave you, you left me!

Danielle Smith to Wildrose Party members: I didn’t leave you! It was you that left me!

Ever since the former Opposition leader shocked Alberta and significant parts of the rest of the country on Dec. 17 by leading a parade of Wildrose Party MLAs over to the Progressive Conservative benches, we’ve been hearing her working up her key talking points.


The Moncton Times@Transcript - Good and Bad: Jan. 24: Canadian Democracy..R.I.P.

No, I’m not exaggerating. And Canada is not the only democracy that is dead. Let’s take a look at it’s last breath.

When Britain declared war in 1914, under the law of time Canada was at war, too. That is not as dramatic as it might sound because while the law required Canada to be officially at war, it did not require Canada to take any part in that war. In fact, it was a pretty good deal for Canada, but not so hot for Britain.

Canada did not have to go to the help of Britain but – if (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Ditto What Australia Said. America Can Be a "Dangerous Ally"

Former Australian prime minister (1975-83), Malcolm Fraser, fears his country’s dependence on the United States could drag Australia into a war not of its own choosing, a war with China.

In Fraser’s book, he describes how Australia’s blind faith in the UK before World War II left the country unprepared for war. He then goes on to say that currently many feel more vulnerable because of the country’s dependence on the United States. What Fraser and many Australian leaders fears most is that the United States will get Australia involved in a coflict not of its own making. “Australia effectively (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On changing reputations

Following up on this post as to the value of a common message in countering the Cons’ campaign spin, let’s test out Stephen Maher’s theory as to what the opposition parties need to offer: For years, Harper has missed no opportunity to portray himself as the only leader who can keep us from ruin, characterizing his rivals as unhinged crackpots with crazy schemes.

Harper has spent more than $100 million in tax dollars on advertisements promoting the Economic Action Plan, a transparently partisan expenditure aimed at inducing a pavlovian response from voters. Add all the cheque presentations, ribbon cuttings, speeches, (Read more…)

Morton's Musings: Dog sledding in Kimmirut

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Two oil economies: Norway and Alberta


Using the Bank of Canada’s average rate of exchange for 2014, a Norwegian krone has been worth $0.1757 CAN. That results in a fund value of $1,165,769,500,000 Canadian, or almost $1.2 trillion. All Norway’s oil and gas revenues go into the sovereign wealth fund, only part of earnings from the fund are spent. The country has a progressive tax system with levels higher than in Canada. However, Norway ensures one year of paid parental leave, very low cost kindergartens for children older than one year and free education, including colleges and universities. The Norwegian Prime Minister (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: When All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men Can’t.

The Atlantic’s James Fallows was interviewed on Bill Maher’s show last night. The discussion focused on Fallows’ article in the latest edition, “The Tragedy of the American Military.”

One point that Fallows addresses is how the mightiest, most costly and best equipped military in the world lost America’s last two wars – in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Fallows accuses the American people of becoming a Chickenhawk Nation, plenty eager to go to war as long as someone else is sent to do the killing and the dying.

Too much complacency regarding our military, and too weak a tragic (Read more…)

Warren Kinsella: The Rumble: Trudeau, Obama, kings and cake

Accidental Deliberations: On common messaging

It shouldn’t come as much surprise that the new election year is bringing out the usual, tiresome round of calls for strategic voting and candidate withdrawals.

In the past, I’ve responded by suggesting that if Canada’s opposition parties have enough common ground to cooperate, they should consider working with joint messages rather than trying to carve up the electoral map. And I’d still be curious to see how that type of arrangement would work if there was any interest in pursuing it.

But I wonder now whether the best course of action may have nothing to do with party arrangements (Read more…)

Warren Kinsella: Death

It wasn’t Roger Ebert’s elegy that got me thinking about it: I’m Irish Catholic and, like my Jewish friends, I think about death all the time. Goes with the territory.

Anyway, Twitter is a good a place as any to define it. If I’m right, it’s when that one-third starts to overwhelm the proceedings.

A third of life is sleeping.

— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) January 24, 2015