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Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– David MacDonald examines how Canada’s tax expenditures systematically favour higher-income individuals over the people who actually have a reasonable claim to public support: This study finds that Canada’s personal income tax expenditures disproportionately benefit the rich and cost the federal treasury nearly as much as it collects in . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Montreal Simon: Has Kellie Leitch Finally Lost Her Marbles?

It's always been a bizarre cabaret act, a real freak show. Kellie Leitch's squeaky voiced imitation of Donald Trump, and her xenophobic campaign to make us believe that only she can defend our Canadian values.Even as she disgraces them.But now that ghastly drag show is becoming even weirder, with Leitch claiming that the "liberal . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Has Kellie Leitch Finally Lost Her Marbles?

Politics and its Discontents: More Discrimination Thanks To Trump

I see reports and videos daily about the actions taken by the unhinged right-wing, the bigoted and the morally diseased. Most I choose not to include on my blog, but two especially egregious examples merit further attention. Both are brought to you from Raw Story:

Recommend this Post . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: More Discrimination Thanks To Trump

Montreal Simon: Donald Trump’s Monstrous Thanksgiving

WhoWhatWhyDonald Trump is spending the Thanksgiving holiday at his Mar-a-Lago castle, no doubt surrounded by his court of bigots and other deplorables.And he's urging his people to unite and support him so he can make America great again.But they would be crazy to do that, because they have nothing to celebrate.And this Turkey Day in . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Donald Trump’s Monstrous Thanksgiving

Montreal Simon: Rick Mercer on Kellie Leitch’s Race Baiting Campaign

With every passing day Kellie Leitch's absurd attempt to be Canada's Donald Trump is looking more desperate and pathetic.She's been getting a lot of free publicity, and doing her best to sound like Trump…

But it's not getting her anywhere. Only three members of the Con caucus support her compared to eighteen for . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Rick Mercer on Kellie Leitch’s Race Baiting Campaign

The Disaffected Lib: How the Leader of the Free World Became the Leader of the Global Right Wing.

AmeriKa’s president, Donald Trump, will not be the leader of the free world. He will, however, be the leader of the global right wing. Across Europe, the radical right is embracing the next US leader as one of their own. Donald Trump validates their ugly bigotry, racism and xenophobia. He is one of them. . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: How the Leader of the Free World Became the Leader of the Global Right Wing.

The Disaffected Lib: Will Trump Embolden Bigots in Canada?

Yesterday we read Kinsella’s post about a white power, Alt.Right handbill posted in his neighbourhood. Today we have an account from CBC Ottawa of a woman, Anna Maranta, a rabbi no less, who awakened in the early hours of Tuesday morning to find a swastika and the word “kike” spray painted across the front . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Will Trump Embolden Bigots in Canada?

wmtc: president trump: what didn’t just happen

Since I’m making an effort to put more of my thoughts here, I’m gathering up a bunch of my Facebook posts and responses. If we know each other on Facebook, apologies for the repetition.

I find much of the analysis and commentary I’ve seen about the recent US election to be quite strange. Donald Trump . . . → Read More: wmtc: president trump: what didn’t just happen

wmtc: a dark and frightening day

I’ve spent the past several months reassuring my co-workers and baldly stating on Facebook that Donald Trump would not become President of the United States.

The lesson for me and for many of us: never underestimate what angry, alienated people can be led to do. The racism, hatred, and violence that is always present . . . → Read More: wmtc: a dark and frightening day

Montreal Simon: The New Canada and the Return of the Cool Moose

As I'm sure you know, I'm really enjoying living in Justin Trudeau's Canada, and of course the land of the noble moose. And I'm constantly battling with Cons and other grumpy old Trudeau haters who would try to tear it down, or make it something ugly, or all about pipelines and trade deals.Or poison . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The New Canada and the Return of the Cool Moose

wmtc: what i’m reading: the underground railroad by colson whitehead

Colson Whitehead is a literary genius. In The Underground Railroad, he has found a way to tell the story of 400-plus years of African-American oppression without delivering an awkward march through history, and without using characters as billboards for ideas.

Instead of linear time, Whitehead employs a geography of time: different eras, different historical . . . → Read More: wmtc: what i’m reading: the underground railroad by colson whitehead

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Owen Jones offers his take on how the UK’s Labour Party should proceed following Jeremy Corbyn’s most recent leadership victory – and while the exact circumstances may not apply to the NDP’s upcoming leadersh… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Montreal Simon: Standing Up For Our Values In A Bigoted World

I’m really looking forward to this weekend. It’s going to be warm and sunny, and perfect for biking, or sailing.

And on Sunday, in this park in my neighbourhood, there is going to be a big book fair with lots of authors and artists. So it couldn’t be better, or more lovely Canada.

But I can’t forget what’s happening to so many people in this nightmare place.

And ever since I found out that Chris Alexander and Kellie Leitch will be reuniting.

I can’t help wondering what might have happened to some of the Syrian refugees now living in this peaceful country if the Cons had been re-elected?
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Standing Up For Our Values In A Bigoted World

Montreal Simon: The Return of the Monstrous Chris and Kellie Show

The other day I wrote about how Kellie Leitch’s “Anti-Canadian Values” campaign had brought back memories of the Chris and Kellie show.

The barbaric Con production where Leitch and Chris Alexander demonized Muslims, and invited Canadians to snitch on their neighbours.

And it was such an ugly memory, I remember thinking thank goodness that show was cancelled, and that those two will never be together again.

But sadly I was wrong. Because it seems that the Chris and Kellie show is on again.
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Return of the Monstrous Chris and Kellie Show

Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the First Family From Hell

They say an apple never falls far from the tree. Especially if it’s rotten to the core.

And in the case of Donald Trumps’s family, the would be first family of America, that couldn’t be more true.

For this is what his ghastly spawn Donald Trump Jr. tweeted last night.
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the First Family From Hell

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, following up on my earlier column on racism in Saskatchewan with a look at the lessons we can learn from responses to similar issues in Alberta and the U.S. (And no, “do nothing” still isn’t an acceptable answer.)For further reading…- Jesse and… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Burning of America

I’ve been warning for a long time that the monstrous demagogue Donald Trump could end up setting his own country on fire.

Whether he wins or when he loses.

And sure enough while Trump complains about Hillary Clinton calling some of his supporters a “basket of deplorables.”

Here’s what the governor of Kentucky, a Trump supporter and rabid anti-gay bigot, had to say about what might happen if those deplorables are defeated:
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Burning of America

Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Madness of America (Continued)

There are now less than sixty days to go before the U.S. presidential election, and with every passing day the campaign just seems to grow crazier and crazier.

For what else can explain that Donald Trump can say something as deranged as this.

Donald J. Trump, in escalating attacks against Hillary Clinton, suggested on Friday that his opponent was so immune to prosecution that she could shoot someone in front of thousands of witnesses and not be prosecuted

But doesn’t feel the need to apologize.
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Madness of America (Continued)

Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Shadow of the Klan

When I saw Donald Trump in a Detroit church, trying to appeal to African-American voters by posing as a religious person.

And swaying awkwardly from side to side to the strains of the song “What a Mighty God We Serve.”

Don’t think @realDonaldTrump is going to win any votes with these dance moves. #TrumpInDetroit pic.twitter.com/2SEOeIquXi

— Matt Wilstein (@TheMattWilstein) September 3, 2016

I must admit that I laughed so long and so loudly I was practically transported myself.

But of course it wasn’t really funny, it was the act of a desperate Con man.
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Donald Trump and the Shadow of the Klan

wmtc: thank you, colin kaepernick!

Another awesome athlete protest that I have no time to write about. I can only thank Colin Kaepernick for his courage.Joy of Sox speaks for me: To Mookie Betts (And Others): The Right To Protest Has Nothing To Do With The Military. . . . → Read More: wmtc: thank you, colin kaepernick!

Montreal Simon: Kellie Leitch and the Anti-Canadian Cons

In my last post I looked at how Kellie Leitch was discovered discreetly cooking up a new/nouveau batch of her foul cultural barbarism brew.

By stirring up the idea that immigrants and refugees should be screened for “anti-Canadian values.” 

Even though Leitch wouldn’t know a Canadian value if it flew up like a bat and bit her on the nose.

But if you thought she was sorry for having been caught in the act of trying to bubble up bigotry again, and might blubber like she did a few months ago.

You’d be wrong.
Read more » . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Kellie Leitch and the Anti-Canadian Cons

Montreal Simon: Catching Up With the Adventures of the Republican Clown Donald Trump

During the almost three weeks I spent in Scotland, I wasn't able to follow the adventures of the RepubliCon clown Donald Trump as closely as I normally do.Because as you may know, most Scots can't stand Trump and would rather ignore him.So you… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Catching Up With the Adventures of the Republican Clown Donald Trump

wmtc: fight for 15 and fairness: brampton forum for decent work

After our members returned to work, but while I was still on staycation, I attended a community event organized by labour activists in Peel Region. It was a beautifully planned event, with music and food and lots of opportunities for participation.

In Ontario, the Fight for $15 & Fairness
is focused on the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s
Changing Workplaces Review.

Each of the three keynote speakers was brilliant and revelatory. First, Gurjeet Sran, an economist from York University, blasted through the myth that raising the minimum wage hurts the economy. (In fact, raising the minimum wage actually helps the economy.) Sran also spoke about the pressing need to raise the corporate tax rate. Even though most people in the room were familiar with these arguments, it’s always good to brush up on facts and strengthen your knowledge.

Next, Monica Avero spoke about the fight for justice for workers at Toronto Pearson Airport. Avero is a Unifor member and belongs to the Toronto Airport Workers’ Council, an alliance of unionized and non-union airport workers. The conditions at Pearson — Canada’s largest workplace — are nothing short of shocking. Minimum wage pay, constant on-call hours, inhumane shift scheduling, and no guarantee of hours are the norm. Wage theft abounds. Workers frequently sleep in the airport for a few hours in between shifts, not leaving the airport for days at a time in order to get more shifts.

If a worker can stick it out long enough to earn more than $13/hour, their contract is terminated. The work is either offered to someone else, or the same person can apply for the job at an even lower wage. Last year, hundreds of workers in the airport’s refuelling, wheelchair assistance, and de-icing services were laid off and forced to reapply for jobs at much lower pay rates. At least 200 of these workers were never rehired. The previous year, parking attendants were targeted. Avero herself has been working at Pearson for 18 years; she still earns minimum wage. Welcome to the world of deregulation and privatization.

If the conditions at Pearson are shocking, the conditions for temp workers around Ontario are off the charts. Navi Aujla, a graduate student, followed in Barbara Ehrenreich’s footsteps, working for temp agencies in the Toronto area. The agencies employ mainly new immigrants from racialized communities, and mostly women. As a rule, they pay less than minimum wage, expect round-the-clock availability, and are in constant violation of almost every clause in the Employment Standards Act. Many major companies use agency workers for the majority of their workforce. The agencies are completely unregulated, and what regulations there are, are not enforced.

After the main speakers, a member of the audience took the mic to talk about his situation. A Somali man, he was a successful lawyer in his home country. In Canada, his degree was not recognized (an extremely common situation), so he went back to school and became a qualified accountant. He sent his resume to 500 accounting firms and did not receive as much as a single phone call. Why would that be? His name is Abdullahi Barre, and this was in early 2002.

Barre took many different jobs, earning whatever wage he could. After many years, he found work as a parking attendant at Pearson Airport, and worked his way up to $14/hour. . . until everyone was fired and rehired at $11.25/hour. That’s when he joined the Workers Action Centre and became active in working for change.

With the event just days after CUPE 1989’s ratification vote, the organizers asked me to speak as well. It was exciting to report on a win, and to talk about how our strike energized and activated our members.

But the best part of the event, for me, was that two random 1989 members attended, on their own — and one even spoke a bit, during the open mic portion. I don’t know if either of these members had ever attended a union meeting before, and here they were at a community organizing event in Brampton. That might be the biggest win of all. . . . → Read More: wmtc: fight for 15 and fairness: brampton forum for decent work

Scripturient: A cunning plan

I see Donald Trump’s plan to utterly eviscerate the Republican Party is working very well. Just look who he picked as his running mate: possibly the only white man more bigoted, vile, close-minded, racist and misogynistic than the passel of presi… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: A cunning plan

Montreal Simon: The Leadership Race and the Delusions of the Cons

As we all know Rona Ambrose and her Cons are having a really hard time attracting any star leadership candidates.The only candidates they have managed to attract so far, like a candle attracts bugs, couldn't be more boring or more mediocre. An… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Leadership Race and the Delusions of the Cons