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Bill Longstaff: Preston Manning—a real conservative?

As someone on the left I have occasionally wondered how we got lumbered with responsibility for defending the environment. Surely, I would muse, this is the province of conservatives. Conservative, conservationist—practically the same word. Shouldn’t conservatives be those most concerned about conserving?

Well, as it turns out, at least one Canadian conservative is. Preston Manning, former

The Disaffected Lib: Top British Tories Slam Tony Abbott. Carol Goar Gnaws on Harper.

Who better to give Australian prime minister Tony Abbott a real hiding but a number of prominent Tories.  Real Tories, not what passes for conservative under the Harper regime.  Real Tories, as in the Brits.

The attitude of Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the global challenges of climate change is “eccentric”, “baffling” and “flat earther”, according to a group of senior British Conservatives. The group, including Prime Minister David Cameron’s Minister for Energy and a former Thatcher Minister and chairman of the Conservative Party, says Mr Abbot’s position on climate change represents a betrayal of the fundamental ideals of Conservatism (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Has Conservatism Become a Death Cult?

Some day our grandchildren will ask “why?”

They’ll want to know why their grandparents’ generation failed to act against climate change while there was still time to prevent their own generation from getting the worst of it.

That’s how they’re going to judge us; not by how bad, how dangerous, how punishing the environment they have to live in is but rather how much worse is it than it had to be.  And that’s what we’re doing now with our inaction on climate change.  We’re determining how much worse things are going to be for our grandchildren due to (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…)

Bill Longstaff: National Post climate change deniers "paranoid"—so says their own editor

The prattling of climate change sceptics/deniers in the National Post has been ridiculed by one of its own editors. In recent comments on the CBC’s The National, Jonathan Kay repeated observations he made in a column some years ago in which he accused deniers of being “a liability to the Conservative cause.” In his article he observed, “In the case of global warming, this [cognitive] dissonance

Accidental Deliberations: #MacKayTees

I won’t claim to match Stephen Lautens’ collection of #MacKayTees. But I will add a couple to the mix.

First, making using of a picture which fortuitously made its way around the Internets yesterday:

And second, encapsulating conservatism in four small words:

Politics, Re-Spun: Stop Listening to the Big Oil Spin!

Do the math. Please.

For a great long time, I’ve been talking about how we must dump the oil, gas, fracking, tankers, pipelines, coal…all the carbon-based energy systems because of climate breakdown [aka climate change, aka global warming, aka the greenhouse effect]. We need to transform our society to a post-carbon energy infrastructure.

The lie that there are billions in government revenue and 90 gazillion jobs just waiting for us all (sigh) is so incredibly compelling. But if you look at some data, like…facts, you might find some startling surprises that indicate that you’ve been swallowed whole by the carbon-based (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: Overheard in Toronto – On #RobFord’s Critics

On #RobFord’s Critics: “You know why Rob Ford still wins and will keep on winning? All these people in the newspapers, writing blogs and rushing to criticize him are upper-middle […]

Progressive Proselytizing: The Great Conservative Lie

Virtually all incidences of modern Conservatism – Canada and the US, federally, state/provincially and municipally, from politician to politician – has a consistent central theme. Campaign planks comes and go, but this is the frame of the Conservative movement. It is also a lie, known by all who say it to be false, and at best a sort of spun half truth used for partisan gain. I’ll let the Ontario Tories’ big new Million Jobs Act talking point number one be the choice example of this theme: “Reduce debt and taxes to encourage employers to hire and to signal to (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Fried Squirrels

It’s a crisp, foggy November Saturday morning in the south side of the city. Seventeen people sit in the large open area at the back end of an organic fair trade coffee shop run by a workers’ co-op inspired by the Mondragon movement in Spain. Meet-ups like this are quite common in this shop.

The male and female co-facilitators move briskly through the agenda with the help of the nodding volunteer maintaining the speakers list. There are sporadic jazz-hand gestures, common from the Occupy Movement, as well as a strict yet comfortable group norm of only one person speaking at (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: George Osborne’s Economic Policy: More Poverty, Worse Public Servies

Check out @chakrabortty’s Tweet:

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Austerity, Conservatism, neoliberalism

Parchment in the Fire: The Grand Old Tea Party | The Nation


The Grand Old Tea Party | The Nation.

A Democratic president begins a new term in the White House. Two years later, America votes a cadre of aggressive conservatives into Congress, loaded for bear. At first the Republican establishment, thrilled to have the Democrats on the run, puts its wariness about the fire-breathers aside. Within a few years, though, the new guys throw out all the old rules of consensus and compromise, and the establishment shows signs of buyer’s remorse. One of the new conservatives, a bulky, take-no-prisoners senator who sees socialist quislings everywhere, takes control of the agenda (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Conservatism and the Crisis of the Republic

This is an extract from Cicero’s legal defense of Sestius, delivered in 56 BCE. Cicero is often considered to be the founding father of ‘republicanism’ but has influenced the likes of Edmund Burke and Friedrich von Hayek. In the speech, he articulates the conservative program for defending the republic against ‘populist’ reform. The names and the policies may be different, but the underlying issues remain the same:

‘Lucius Cassius moved his law concerning the secret ballot: the people thought its liberty was at stake in its passage; the foremost men of the community disagreed, fearing that the masses’ rashness, exercised (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Tea Party Support Dwindles to Near-Record Low

Filed under: conservatism Tagged: Conservatism, far-right, US Politics

Parchment in the Fire: A conservatism is spreading that the Tories can’t fathom | John Harris | Comment is free | The Guardian

A conservatism is spreading that the Tories can’t fathom | John Harris | Comment is free | The Guardian.

A month or so ago, when the public’s opposition to any intervention in Syria was revealed, the stock explanation of their views was pretty simple – boiling down to Iraq, the unhinged premiership of Tony Blair, and people’s instinctive understanding of what is now known as ”overstretch”.

But something else was in the air: a very British kind of scepticism, coupled with an instinctive belief that other nations’ wars are usually best left alone, and a general sense of people turning inward in (Read more…)

Art Threat: Conservative Christ illustrates America’s evil Jesus

The latest work by American artist Michael D’Antuono has once again drawn ire from US conservatives for pointing out the hypocrisy amongst their ranks.

His latest work, The Conservative Christ, depicts Jesus with an AK-47 hoisted into their air, clutching tightly to a pot of gold, and sneering derisively at a poor, old man. By illustrating precisely what Jesus would not do, D’Antuono draws attention to the awkward dissonance between Conservative’s sociopolitical beliefs and their supposed adherence to Christian values.

It was in an attempt to understand this conflict that inspired him to create the work.

It seems like (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: Canada’s annual protest against women’s rights was…

Canada’s annual protest against women’s rights was held at Parliament Hill on May 9, 2013, drawing thousands of right-wing busybodies who can’t keep their authoritarianism in their pants.

The name of the yearly “March For Life” is misleading, because most of the religious fanatics who attend these events are very selective about their concern for life. They almost exclusively focus on unborn fetuses, and spare almost no thought for actual human beings who have left the womb. Causes of premature death such as war, capital punishment, poverty, pollution, depression and unsafe working conditions are barely on their radar, if at (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Did Earth Day Not Quite Do It For You This Year?

Some years, Earth Day clicks for people in a profound way. I’ve spoken to a few who were distinctly non-plussed with how things didn’t come together for them and their dreams this year.

If you need some optimism for the rest of your week, check out this compendium. Pay attention to the ages of those in photos, and immediately scroll to the bottom to read what our dear Cascadian friends to the south got up to at U-Dub. What would that look like in your community?

Embrace peace, watch your footprint, look up for bald eagles, imagine the future you (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: But They’re Not Alone. U.S. Politicians Overestimate Their Constituents Conservatism

Republicans and even Democrats have been found to think their constituents much more conservative than they are in fact.  It’s no surprise, therefore, that they govern according to false perception and at odds with the public they purport to serve.

Conducted by the University of California’s David Broockman and University of Michigan’s Christopher Skovron, the survey of nearly 2,000 legislators from across America documents politicians’ perceptions of their constituents’ views on hot-button issues like universal health care and same-sex marriage. It then compares those perceptions with constituents’ actual views.

The juxtaposition reveals a jarring truth: Both Republican and Democratic . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: But They’re Not Alone. U.S. Politicians Overestimate Their Constituents Conservatism

The Disaffected Lib: New Studies Confirm Conservatives are Fear-Driven

Sideshow Steve Harper understands the power of fear to distract and manipulate his supporters.   He conjures up images of threats and dangers and watches  his Conservative flock recoil in shock and terror.

Two new studies confirm the brain differences between conservative and liberal minds.

First, in the American Journal of Political Science, a team of researchers including Peter Hatemi of Penn State and Rose McDermott of Brown University studied the relationship between our deep-seated tendencies to experience fear—tendencies which vary from person to person, partly for reasons that seem rooted in our genes–and our political beliefs. What they

. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: New Studies Confirm Conservatives are Fear-Driven

The Ranting Canadian: Any fool who still says “better dead than red” in…

Any fool who still says “better dead than red” in this day and age should have to prove it.

Try both options and get back to us.

Autonomy For All: One Liberalism Through the Ages

This was originally published at Open Left, I am republishing it here as a starting point to further updates on these topics and themes. – D.

Last weekend Paul wrote:

Moreover, by the 1870s, British liberals had become quite aware that their previous understanding of economic freedom was a hollow joke, producing vast legions of downtrodden urban poor, and so they began seeking another way to think about freedom, closer to that which slaves have always understood-freedom as a gaining of power for those at the bottom, not to be dominated from above, but to be lifted up

. . . → Read More: Autonomy For All: One Liberalism Through the Ages

Politics, Re-Spun: What Does Adbusters Ask of You in 2013?

From the people who suggested the modest idea of occupying Wall Street, Adbusters has sent out a new half dozen suggestions to fix the economic cancers of capitalism. Here’s my favourite, and it’s a little policy wonky:

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: What Does Adbusters Ask of You in 2013?

Politics, Re-Spun: Privatization Via Blackmail

If you want to see why there isn’t much of a real left wing in the USA, this graph of those seeking the White House in 2008 pretty much covers it.

2008 US presidential candidates show little actual left wing juice.

If you want proof of how the neoliberal US Democratic Party is like the neoliberal Harper Conservatives, see this great piece:

Rahm Emanuel is not just any Democrat. He was Barack Obama’s first chief of staff, responsible for hiring many of the Obama administration’s key personnel. One of Obama’s appointees, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, is a former

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Privatization Via Blackmail

Canada II: Political War on Words

I think that progressives need to wake up.

You see, the conservatives have been at war with us for decades now. It isn’t simply that they prefer slightly different policies than us. They want to dismantle all of the positive work done over the last few generations and put in place a system, a state, that reflects exactly their own beliefs.

Yes, it’s true.

The reason the general public doesn’t