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The Right-Wing Observer: US Journalistic Sensationalism in Aftermath of #OttawaShooting

CNN, in their attempt to fill air time after the apparent terror attack in Ottawa (#OttawaShooting), began asking American pundits whether their Northern border with Canada was safe. Erin Burnnett accompanied that discussion with a graphic comparing their Northern border with their Southern border with Mexico which distorted the facts of the issue to make a point.

Are you confident in the security of America’s northern with #Canada? pic.twitter.com/6JNg4jmSiA

— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) October 22, 2014

Earlier in the day Geraldo Rivera, no stranger to sensationalism, had a similar message in a tweet.

another jihadi terrorist attack in Canada. (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: On childcare in Ricochet

I forgot to post the piece I wrote on the NDP’s universal childcare proposal for Ricochet. Here it is belatedly. It was published last weekend and tries to situate the childcare proposal in the context of broader changes to the welfare state.

Why the NDP’s childcare proposal has irritated all the right people

The NDP’s universal childcare proposal has the right wing up in arms. Political opponents are playing up the spectre of big government. Their mouthpieces in the media are also predictably upset. The proposed program will be big spending, freedom limiting and unaffordable, they say. Social media (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Where Saskatchewan Comes To Count

Saskatchewan’s lovable radio host asks: “What are you thinking and feeling about 1) our Canada today b) yesterday on the “Hill” and c) the cowardice and evil in our midst. Is Canada different today? How do we deal with terrorism and radicals?”

1) Worried the attack will be used as an excuse to make it harder to visit our public buildings. b?) You mean 2)? c) OK, we’ll stick with letters now. The cowardice and evil is refusing to deal with our fossil fuel additions, and going to war to secure a source in the Middle East. How (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Parliament Hill Shooting: Statement by Ottawa Police Service

Here’s the Ottawa Police Service’s statement on today’s shootings at the National War Memorial and on Parliament Hill.

The post Parliament Hill Shooting: Statement by Ottawa Police Service appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Ottawa Attacked

A sad day of note in Canadian political history, as Parliament Hill was under gunfire today. A soldier was also shot at the nearby War Memorial.

Putting the day’s events into perspective though, are Canadians less safe today because of our political leader’s choice to take us to war in Iraq against ISIS? Possibly. That threat shouldn’t mean a single change to our daily lives though, since we don’t alter our behaviour to avoid the much more deadly threat of being killed by a home-grown drunk driver.

Please Canada – be safe but don't let this change us the way (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Harper, the Dog of War

For Harper, 6 CF-18s in Kuwait, all war all the time, phoning up the Pentagon asking where we can become more militarily engaged…all these things lead to a war posture, including a soldier being killed at home.

A war posture is good for Harper’s base and makes Canadians more scared so that we more more disinclined to vote him out next year.

Don’t change horses in midstream, as the sick spin goes.

Expect Harper to manufacture/inflame more political strife and militarism in the months leading up to the federal election.

All of us should be profoundly uncomfortable that any politician (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Join Ricochet: A new take on independent media.

Have you joined yet?

No? So, you’re good with corporate media spinning things for you, against your personal, community, national and ecological interests?

Oh. Ok.

Ricochet is an audacious response to a difficult context. Independent and in the public interest, Ricochet will provide a space dedicated to investigative journalism and high-profile opinion. Published in two distinct editions, English and French, Ricochet will illuminate the cultural and political diversity of this country.

via Ricochet: le journal nouveau genre. A new take on independent media. | Indiegogo.

July 6, 2010 More Bad News for Dreams of Solid Journalism (1) November 15, (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: If You Read But One Thing About Universal Childcare This Week

Line them up here. In this one section of universal childcare analysis by one of the smartest people in the country, Michal Rozworski, we see a number of significant policy issues addressed:

affordable childcare. universality. feminism. including mothers in the workforce more effectively. a better shot a living wage for childcare workers. national standards. standardized curricula and best practices. economies of scale [for those obsessed with the business plan]

Ultimately, a winning paragraph in a winning analytical piece

While caring for children is an essential task, it is also an unequally distributed chore according to gender and made difficult by (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Transportation After Fossil Fuels: A Decade Away?

Once upon a time, I rode the maglev at the Japan pavilion at Expo 86.

Since then, I’ve come to see that that was the Commodore Vic 20 of high speed travel. What’s the new standard? ET3.

So if you’ve been having a hard time imagining a post-carbon transportation system that would run on the electricity we’d glean from the wind and the sun, and cost about as much as one year of Air Canada’s gross revenue [$12.4 billion in 2013], start grinning when you read the quote at the bottom.

We could even fund it federally with a (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Regina Women’s History Month #womenhistory

October is Women’s History Month. This year I was invited to the event at the Conexus Arts Centre, and I’d suggest you check it out next October.

Politics, Re-Spun: How to Spot an Ecology Troll

Start with an oil spill apologist/minimizer. Work with the twisted logic that since all ships and oil tankers don’t crash all the time, any concern over one that might [and our government's pathetic incompetence in prevention and disaster-aversion] is eco-hysteria. Pay any attention to and RT anything Ayn Rand. Then spot allied apologists.

Then follow the timelines:

[Timeliness note: as of 115pm, the third tow line on the Simushir snapped, so nothing's safe yet.]

Here's a real crude tanker, off Victoria Golf Course, carrying Alaska crude so no story #haidagwaii pic.twitter.com/04bOWy5xCo

— Tom Fletcher (@tomfletcherbc) October 18, (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The Madness of King Stephen

As excuses for war go, claiming a conflict to be “noble” is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.  It’s something you resort to when there’s simply nothing left to pull out of your ass.  ”Squires, attend your Lords.  Summon the Heralds. To the jousts! Ah, there’s a noble scent to the air.”Perhaps Harper had to call our adventure in Iraq noble because the default option would have been “insane.”  Insane in the popular sense of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  It’s that sort of insane.

Over at Foreign (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Looking towards childcare in Canada, with lessons from Sweden

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/podcast-141016-childcare.mp3

 

This week, the federal NDP reignited a national debate over childcare by proposing a universal $15 per day childcare program. This is the focus of today’s episode, which features two guests. First up, Angela MacEwen. Angella is an economist with the Canadian Labour Congress and has long been a strong advocate for public childcare in Canada. I spoke with her about the economics of universal childcare.

My second guest is Petter Nilssen, who is the press secretary for the Left Party in the Stockholm municipality and is a board member of the Institute for Marxist (Read more…)

Left Over: Harper’s Zipper: Stuck Again

ANALYSIS

Conservatives’ copyright law changes could backfire Does the government really want to trigger a debate over the use of political attack ads?

By Kady O’Malley, CBC News Posted: Oct 14, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 14, 2014 8:12 AM ET

The Cons haven’t had much success so far in trashing Junior Trudeau…well, not too surprising, but then they are guilty of the same sort of overstatement, so hard for the pot to call the kettle..and what they’ve focused on seems odd in the extreme..if their new regulation vis a vis the press and what is and (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Is Canada the Sweden of anything?

There was an odd article last week on the explainer site Vox that argued Sweden doesn’t achieve its relative equality with very progressive, “soak the rich” taxation. While Matt Bruenig and Mike Konczal have already provided excellent, US-centred rebuttals to this argument, I thought this would be a good occasion to take a look at some comparative facts about Canadian inequality and overall redistribution.

First, notice that on the chart in the original article, Canada is very close to the US, as being among the “least redistributive”. This goes against the national image of a kinder, gentler capitalism more akin (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Gazette Calls Out Harper on Climate Change

It’s one of the grand old English-language papers in Canada, the Montreal Gazette, and its editorial board has had enough of waiting for the Harper regime to act on the threats Canada faces from climate change.

Many of the arguments the government employed in favour of sending war planes to northern Iraq also apply to the necessity of acting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: climate change is a growing threat to global peace and security; only through international cooperation will the emergency be brought under control; Canada would be an freeloader if it failed to do its part in the (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Are Canada’s Rails Safe?

All signs are pointing to no. And the railway companies are starting to ship way more goods much more explosive than Canadian grain.

The Common Sense Canadian: Harper govt gets failing grade on environmental record: federal watchdog

Read this Oct. 7 Globe and Mail story by Josh Wingrove on a scathing report from a federal government watchdog on the Harper government’s environmental record.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is not doing enough to reduce carbon emissions, fight climate change and regulate oil and gas emissions, a series of audits from a federal watchdog have found.

The audits, contained in a report published Tuesday, say Canada has no detailed plan to meet its emissions reduction targets, is on pace to fall well short of meeting them and has made no long-term commitment to environmental monitoring in the oil sands (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Means-test the rich, or another argument for eliminating tuition

Here’s an oversimplified choice for how to fund post-secondary education. Imagine you have two options for dealing with how people pay for post-secondary education:

Universal free tuition, means-testing to see if you are rich enough to pay Universal tuition fees, means-testing to see if you are poor enough to not pay

Either of these can be brought into being in many ways. At base, however, these are two roughly symmetrical ways of achieving the same thing. Right now in Canada, we have a version of (2): tuition and a complex system of need-based grants and scholarships, student loans and tax (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: Rafe: Tories will win in 2015 on Iraq position; what does that mean for Canada, environment?

Stephen Harper addressing UN Security Council (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

The environmental policy of Ottawa will now depend upon what the Tories desire for the next five years.

Why do I say that?

Because their position on Iraq is the correct one and will win them the 2015 election. Canadians simply cannot abandon 100,000 Christians who will be killed if they don’t convert to Islam. They cannot ignore the creation of a new state made up of wild-eyed religious nuts prepared to decapitate those who don’t agree with them.

Proposed intervention gets the usual knee-jerk reaction from the NDP, laced with an (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Canada’s Militarized Foreign Policy

Perhaps the ultimate legacy of the Bush/Cheney regime was the militarization of America’s foreign policy by which the use or threat of military force came to displace diplomacy as the principle instrument of foreign policy.  That Canada should succumb to this same contagion is as lamentable as it is inevitable in the era of neoliberalism.

Canada’s militarized foreign policy could be summed up as, “we march to the sound of the guns.” 

The nature of the war doesn’t much matter.  We don’t waste effort on the merits of what we’re getting into, the objects we seek to (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Wadena Derailment Crisis: Early Lesson

http://t.co/rSh4hfhlbN

Let’s move to the post-carbon energy infrastructure NOW!

Publicly-owned wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, hydro is our future.

No tarsands. No pipelines. No tankers. No coal. No LNG. No fracking. No climate change by rail either.

http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/canada/saskatchewan/major-train-derailment-and-fire-near-wadena-sask-1.2791337

June 16, 2014 Hey, BC: Want More Jobs? Dump the LNG and Pipelines! (1) August 11, 2014 Welcome to the 1,000th Politics, Re-Spun Editorial! (1) July 4, 2013 New, Better Jobs Building a Green Energy Infrastructure (3) March 10, 2014 Stop Listening to the Big Oil Spin! (2)

Dead Wild Roses: Canadians – Say ‘No’ To Airstrikes in Iraq

Harper wants Canada to go on airstrikes on Iraq. That’s right. Canada. The nice ones, the peace keepers, the polite people, the bastion of warm-gooey-joy-joy feelings, the “we’re awesome because we can solve problems without bombing people” great white north. He wants us conducting air strikes. We have to tell him ‘No.’

Elizabeth May of the Green Party spoke against the airstrikes (video below) and I think she did a good job. There’s a big part of me that wishes she didn’t tread so softly, that she went for the jugular and tore them a new one. That said, I (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: #DontLookAtTheSun it’s now #PostModernMedia

Now Sun News is owned by the National Post now [soon]. The National Post, AKA the Financial Post has made it clear they’ll do lewd things in a washroom with Big Oil for money and power. Sun has made it clear they do do lewd things on TV for Big Oil, just because that’s how they roll.

Stop buying newspapers, and start funding independent media competition to them.

In a day of media consolidation, remember you can give to independent media http://t.co/98N9fDokel OR http://t.co/6g6x3gp3Y1 #Postmedia #Sun

— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) October 6, 2014

Postmedia buys Sunmedia. Newspaper anti-concentration (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Wrong Side Of History

I found it ironic today that there are people viewing staying out of Iraq as being on the “wrong side of history”. I couldn’t think of a more perfect example of a battle fought in folly, than Canadian troops going to fight ISIS in Iraq with bombers.

Eleven years ago I was in an evening classroom learning about computer graphics when Bush and Cheney started the second Iraq War with “shock and awe” bombings. The ensuing destruction of that country left the Americans floundering for money at home, and Iraq awash in political instability and weapons. With the Americans weary (Read more…)