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Political Eh-conomy: Three planks for a possible anti-austerity

What would anti-austerity in Canada look like? There are really two types of questions here. There are those of analysis: what has Canada’s austerity looked like, what makes it distinctive and how does it appear in people’s everyday experience? The others are those of political strategy. These are questions that will have to wait for a social, political force ready to meaningfully take up the cause of anti-austerity. With none on the immediate horizon, I don’t intend to pontificate on what Syriza can teach Canada; best look first at what we can learn of our own situation.

When I interviewed him last week, Yanis Varousfakis, now the (Read more…)

staffroom confidential: What could a Canadian Syriza do?

It has been so inspiring to see the Greek people reject austerity and vote in a government committed to radical change. And what is so radical about Syriza? They want to do something pretty much no other government on the planet has committed to: put people first.Given the drastic impacts of the austerity program imposed on Greece, it is not surprising to see people so fervently reject yet more of the same. One quarter are unemployed, and of those still with work, average earnings have plummeted. It is frightening to imagine one’s own household with one lost job and (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: CSEC Back In The News

Here’s an interesting bit of the process the NSA and partners are going about tracking your online activities so they can link everything you do that isn’t encrypted and disassociated from your IP address and social profiles online, to you personally. LEVITATION has been watching you, most certainly.

Every RT of #BellLetsTalk will be tracked by the #NSA & its partners like CSEC while Bell gives some money to assuage its corporate guilt.

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) January 28, 2015

The Disaffected Lib: Will Ted Cruz Become the First Canadian to Run For President?

Something’s up.  Ted Cruz, the Republican poster boy for all things far right, has still not ditched his Canadian citizenship.

It’s a relatively easy process.  He could probably go into the nearest Service Canada office and get help filling out the forms.  Instead he’s had lawyers on this and yet, a year or more later, he’s still a citizen of the country of his birth, Canada.  So, what’s the hold up?

There is one section, however, that could cause Cruz some trouble, and perhaps that is the reason for his delay. Question 5 instructs the applicant to “attach proof” that (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Why Is Canada Selling LAVs to Saudi Arabia?

This shocking news story came up about a year ago, but it’s back in the news because oil crashed, and Alberta tarsand hillbillies freaked out about Saudi Arabia (finally).

The Light Armored Vehicles will be used against civilians protesting injustice in a theocratic, and authoritarian country.

Dead Wild Roses: The Best Propaganda Gigs Are Self Perpetuating – Racism in Canada.

When one turns to the word “propaganda” images of totalitarian states come to mind – Pravda, The North Korea Times. We envision an army of Winston Smith’s carefully scrubbing the news of improper thoughts and meanings, carefully crafting the government approved message of the day. Of course we don’t have that here in North America, we have freedom of speech, we have a free press, we have liberty! We also have institutionalized self-censorship,demarcated areas of approved debate, and a media establishment that tends to take the government’s word at face value. These factors contribute to (Read more…)

The Progressive Right: Town Hall Event – "Ontario’s Greenbelt Under Threat" ( #onpoli )

In partnership with Ontario Greenbelt Alliance, Land Over Landings presents a Town Hall Meeting to expose the threats to Ontario’s Greenbelt.

January 28th – 7 – 9 pm, Brougham Town Hall, Brougham, Ontario.

Full details are available via the Facebook event.

The Progressive Right: Jennifer O’Connell for the Liberal Party Nomination, Pickering-Uxbridge ( #lpc #cdnpoli )

Pickering-Uxbridge will be holding the Liberal Party nomination on January 29th at the Pickering Recreation Complex [meeting notice, PDF]. There are three contestants seeking the nomination.

I am supporting Jennifer O’Connell and think Jennifer would be a tremendous representative for Pickering-Uxbridge and a great addition to Justin Trudeau’s team as a Liberal Member of Parliament.

Jennifer has served the city of Pickering as a city and regional councillor for the past eight years and has a strong record of winning elections. She is a tireless advocate for progressive issues while serving on Council as well as being a (Read more…)

Eh Types: Splitting Our Differences

Imagine your kid’s school has 100 kids. It’s a good school, and all the parents pay for a lunch program so everyone gets a sandwich. Economically, it’s in a fairly diverse neighborhood so the school charges the parents for the lunch program in proportion to their income. Sounds good right? Everyone pays relative to what […]

The Disaffected Lib: Is Harper Collaborating With the Saudi Princes to Crush Their Shiite Minority?

Stephen Harper is beginning to catch a bit of flack over the sale of 15-billion dollars worth of Canadian-built light armoured fighting vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

At first blush it’s hard to understand what Saudi Arabia, that already has a significant armoured force but shows no inclination to use it except to suppress pro-democracy dissidents in places like Bahrain, wants with those LAVs.  Maybe it’s got something to do with this, the simmering religious conflict between the Sunni House of Saud and Shiite Iran.  Could the Saudis be gearing up to crush their own Shiite minority?

Last October, Saudi Arabia’s (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Lang Still at CBC

Amanda Lang still hasn’t been suspended from reporting for the CBC. Meanwhile, Global did a little required housecleaning.

“When people say they have no politics, it means that their politics aligns with the status quo. None of us are unbiased, none removed from the question of power.” – George Monbiot

.@CBCOmbudsman How can Lang take money for a speaking tour sponsored by a company recently in the news? http://t.co/WXcnWMZ8BH

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) April 16, 2013

@saskboy Lang no longer speaking at CORE conference according to CBC News Editor in Chief@jmcguirecbc

— Esther Enkin (@CBCOmbudsman) April 18, 2013

(Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Premium Orange Juice. Oh Indeed!

We can file this Orange Juice Fiasco safely under the heading of corporate conduct that manages to screw the consumer, adhere to the barest letter of the law, and be scandalously profitable all at same time! Heuristically speaking, what the major orange juice producers are doing is considered the standard of corporate behaviour. So when your right-wing friends tell you about how evil restrictive government policies/regulations are literally choking the life out of the (sacrosanct) market you can tell them about this orange juice story and watch them wiggle and squirm as they try to think of (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: Digging out of Canada’s mining dilemma

World-renowned environmentalist David Suzuki wonders whether Canadian mining and fossil fuel profiteers and their government promoters believe in the future.

The post David Suzuki: Digging out of Canada’s mining dilemma appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Eh Types: Fear Campaign

Fear is a primal response, instilled in us by evolution as a survival mechanism. Recognizing when to be afraid has kept our species alive on a planet where we are far from being the fastest or strongest. Fear can also be irrational, making people do strange things. Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are hoping fear […]

Politics, Re-Spun: Science World Ignores Climate Science

Well, why would you support something called Science World when it participates in a program to brainwash students into supporting the liquid natural gas industry, despite the science indicating how harmful it is to the world.

Climate change deniers deny science.

The BC government pretends to care about climate change but is roaring ahead with oil, gas, coal, pipelines and tankers. Pure hypocrisy. They think we’re stupid.

Science World, by joining in with the BC government pimping LNG to kids, has joined the wrong team.

Why would you go to a Science World that rejects the sociopolitical implications of (Read more…)

Trashy's World: Alberta faces recession…

Because of falling oil prices. I predicted this about a two years ago. Right here. … and Ontario bounces back. With the lower price of oil and a lower dollar,it was inevitable. And I bet the short pants in the PMO are beginning to regret their short-changing and put-downs of Canada’s most populous province. They have surely […]

The Progressive Right: Canada’s Veterans Still Need Protection from Conservatives ( #cdnpoli )

Canada’s veterans rejoiced when Julian Fantino was finally booted from Veterans Affairs on January 5. Mr. Fantino was replaced by Durham Conservative MP, Erin O’Toole. Ostensibly, a sound pick – a former RCAF officer. Someone with such a background, you’d think would bring a sympathetic ear to what veterans need. You would be forgiven if you had forgotten that O’Toole fully parroted Julian Fantino’s hard line stance against honouring veterans benefits at every turn – fully endorsing the government’s inaction in the care of Canada’s veterans.

You would argue that it was up to O’Toole to simply toe the party (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: Energy shift requires shift in conversation

The infrastructure already developed to accommodate cheap fossil fuels creates a psychological barrier to rational discourse on energy issues, says David Suzuki.

The post David Suzuki: Energy shift requires shift in conversation appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Disaffected Lib: The "Meh" Society

There’s really no better way to understand another society that to live there.  I have never known the United States better than during the years I spent studying there back in the Vietnam war era.  This is why I was drawn to the observations of Volker Stanzel, former undersecretary of political affairs at the German foreign office.  Stanzel has just wrapped up a period of teaching at an American university on the west coast.  His impressions of the country, its people and their problems is insightful and should resonate with Canadians also.

Stanzel sees Americans as a people who (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: RCMP Pursuing A Relationship

Cop constructively abducts Native woman in Canada <~ media calls it "Pursuing a Relationship" FU pic.twitter.com/tdHy8daYKg

— lastrealindians.com (@lastrealindians) January 9, 2015

RCMP officers don’t possess good sense given to every other human being, apparently.

The Disaffected Lib: The Top Ten Wars of 2015

And a Happy New Year to you too.

The new president of the International Crisis Group, Jean-Marie Guehenno, has issued his own New Year greetings in an article on the ten wars to watch in 2015 in Foreign Policy magazine.

For the most part they’re the old familiars that continue to plague Africa, the Middle East and Asia with two exceptions, Venezuela and Ukraine.  So, to summarize, here’s the rundown.  No. 10 – Venezuela.  No. 9 – Libya and the Sahel.  No. 8 – Yemen.  No. 7 – Afghanistan.  No. 6 – the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  No. 5 (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: More In Canada Now Willing To Accept Dictatorship

Here’s Harper’s legacy, as he’s attempted to plunge our country into darkness:

The group surveyed attitudes towards democracy and governance in interviews with 50,000 people in 28 countries. It found that Canada was among those nations most likely to support shuttering its legislatures. In fact, the study found that only the citizens of Paraguay, Peru, and Haiti were more likely to put their democracies in mothballs than Canadians.

… Could these strange numbers explain why Canadians yawned when Stephen Harper was found in contempt of parliament, and immediately handed him a majority government?

“His long term goal is to (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Snow Seasonal Things Considered: Clean Sidewalks

I know what you’re thinking. “Fascinating subject Arb, do tell us more!”

Okay, perhaps not as gripping the other newsy bits we we have around here but none the less a subject that shouldn’t be casually swept aside. Living in Alberta means that for three to five months of the year, snow will be on the ground. The lovely first fall of snow marks the official end of mosquito season and the transition to having ‘exposed flesh stick uncomfortably to metal season’. Some might balk at all the freezing rain, sleet and snow – but (Read more…)

The Progressive Right: Veterans Need Protection from Conservatives, Part One Thousand ( #cdnpoli )

Conservatives have continuously let down veterans since coming to power.

We’ve since learned that the Conservative Party let $1.1 billion (with a ‘B’) lapse in veteran funding. Essentially, Veterans Affairs had $1.1 billion budgeted to spend on veterans’ programs and the ministry did not spend it. Simply put – the demand for services was there, but for whatever reason, did not spend the money.

Now, Veterans Affairs is on the attack. The Veterans Affairs department says some veterans are exaggerating their injuries to continue receiving financial benefits from the government and to avoid joining the work force. [Canada. (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Shhh, The Bold Revolution Has Started

We live in tumultuous times:

Ferguson and other non-indictments of white police who murdered people of colour ISIL and other extremism Stephen Harper’s continued assault on democracy and embrace of soft fascism [has he had CRA audit YOUR favourite progressive group yet?] Accusations against Jian Ghomeshi Accusations against Bill Cosby The epidemic of campus rape, and necessary reflection about why it has taken this long to take this seriously Victoria’s Times-Colonist newspaper’s racist editorial cartoons, and necessary reflection about why it has taken this long to take this seriously Pipelines, fracking, dirty energy, tankers The destructive Site-C dam (Read more…)