Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Jeffrey Sachs writes about the need to shape a more moral, less exploitative economy. So needless to say, the Cons are instead working on promoting corruption.

- Mark Weisbrot discusses how the Troika’s attempt to impose continued austerity on Greece in the face of public resistance can’t be seen as much more than an attempt at coercive regime change. And John Nichols reports on just a few of the voices rightly lauding the refusal of Greece’s electorate to go along with that plan.

- Scott Eric Kaufman talks to Erik Loomis about (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Mostly competent government

To nobody’s surprise, Stephen Harper’s brand of economic management means election slush funds throwing tens of millions of dollars away for no public benefit.

And it also means public servants going unpaid due to the failure of the Cons’ supposed attempts to make government more efficient.

Do we dare take the risk of having another, more responsible party in charge of our public purse?

The Canadian Progressive: Senate expenses scandal “the most Canadian of scandals”: John Oliver

For comedian John Oliver, the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, Canada’s Senate expenses scandal is “the most Canadian of scandals”.

The post Senate expenses scandal “the most Canadian of scandals”: John Oliver appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the Senate’s failure to provide any second thought on C-51 may serve as the ultimate signal that it has nothing useful to offer Canadians.

For further reading…- PressProgress’ look at the Senate’s sad history is well worth a read. The CBC reports on the Auditor General’s findings about the widespread abuse of public money. And Ian Austen offers a U.S. perspective on what comes next for the Senate.- Meanwhile, Karl Nerenberg explains why abolition is well within reach if anybody is willing to take a leadership role in pursuing it without reopening other (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: CBC House Cleaning Claims the Vapid Evan

Evan Solomon was always a pathetic pseudo-journalist.

Ask an intriguing question, politician spins or lies or evades or trots out talking points, then Evan…what does he do? Move on. Nothing to see here.

Waste of air.

The world is better off with him off the air.

January 10, 2014 What Does Post-Corporate Media Look Like? (0) February 5, 2014 The Media Corruption Trifecta! (5) November 26, 2013 More CBC Privatization (2) February 25, 2012 Yas A., Kagan Goh and Carmen Aguirre: Monday at 6pm on COOP Radio (0)

LeDaro: Mike Duffy Saga

Harper sure knows how to appoint Senators, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau, and the notorious Mike Duffy. Harper campaigned against an appointed Senate, against privilege and corruption, in 2006, only to embrace it full on when he became Prime Minister. He appointed Mike Duffy, a so-called journalist who abused his position to gain the Prime Minister’s favour and get a Senate appointment. Duffy would promote stories favourable to the Prime Minister, even saying no one could question his integrity.

Duffy relished in a 2008 tape of then-Liberal leader Stéphane Dion stumbling, which was shown repeatedly even though the network had assured (Read more…)

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: Akaash Maharaj: Addressing the United Nations

Political corruption kills more people than war and famine combined. I addressed the United Nations on how the international community can and must act to bring kleptocrats to justice.

A Grumpy Hobbit: Holding Police Accountable and Knowing Your Legal Rights

Holding Police Accountable and Knowing Your Legal Rights So, with all the BS happening down in the USA with Police being out of control and cracking skulls every chance they get, the questions arises “Do we need to be worried about this here in Canada? What are our rights? What can we do to protect ourselves against the Police?”

Do We Need to be Worried About This Here in Canada? The sorry

A Grumpy Hobbit: Harpers and CPC Objection to Omar Khar Bail Release Just FAILED!!!

Harpers and CPC Objection to Omar Khadr’s Bail Release Just FAILED!!! The Harper Government and CPC/Government lawyers who oppose Omar Khadr bail release was based on one single objection, that his bail release would jeopardize USA/Canada relations and US/Canadian treaties. THAT’S IT! Not that Omar was at risk of fleeing, not that he was at risk of re-offending, not that Omar was going to

Accidental Deliberations: What you know in the PMO

Obviously, the revelation that Mike Duffy saw his job in the Senate as including a role as a publicly-funded lobbyist for the climate denial movement raises a whole new set of questions about the Cons’ misuse of public resources. And if, say Enbridge is being at all honest in its own public spin, Stephen Harper was well aware of what was going on: Duffy’s conversations with Enbridge officials [between January and June 2012] aren’t listed in the company’s lobbying registrations. However, in an email to CBC News, Enbridge’s vice-president of enterprise communications called those conversations “unsolicited.”

“Senator Duffy (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Ex-Conservative Senator Wallin committed “breach of trust and fraud”: RCMP

The RCMP announced Monday that ex-Conservative Senator Pamela Wallin, a Harper appointee, “committed the offences of breach of trust and fraud.”

The post Ex-Conservative Senator Wallin committed “breach of trust and fraud”: RCMP appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Kate McInturff and David Macdonald address the need for an adult discussion about how federal policies affect Canadian families. And Kevin Campbell writes about the importance of child care as a social investment. 

- Vincenzo Bove and Georgios Efthyvoulou study how public policy is shaped by political budget cycles – with more popular social spending getting emphasized around election time, only to face a threat as soon as the vote is held. And Scott Clark and Peter DeVries identify a distinct increase in the smoke and mirrors being used by the Cons (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On corporate takeovers

CTV reports on the funnelling of money from SNC-Lavalin into the Cons’ coffers. And we shouldn’t be surprised to see that connection in light of the Cons’ attitude toward corporate wrongdoing.

But it’s especially worth noting what’s missing from the Cons’ denials of involvement: Elections Canada records reveal that 10 top SNC-Lavalin managers and their wives wrote personal cheques in 2009 to two federal Conservative riding associations that showed little chance of winning.

A total of $25,000 was funnelled to the ridings of Laurier-Sainte-Marie and Portneuf-Jacques-Cartier. Approximately $30,000 was then transferred out to Megantic-L’Erable, the riding of then-public works minister (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- A Gandalf Group poll finds (PDF) that Canadians have come to perceive and expect a disturbing level of self-serving action by our political leaders. And while Dale Smith is right to note that we’ve largely limited the most obvious forms of corruption, there’s still plenty of reason for concern that public policy is being driven by a few insiders and political cronies at the expense of the public.

- On that front, Gerald Caplan reminds us how the CRA is being used to silence only charities who promote social justice – while (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The Big Easy – Easy On Rapists

There’s always been a seedy undercurrent to New Orleans – everything from street hustlers to corrupt politicians.  It’s part of the flavour of the place.

Now it turns out the Big Easy has been going easy on rapists thanks to a municipal detective squad that couldn’t care less.

… a city inspector general’s report claims five detectives failed to do substantial investigation of more than 1,000 cases of sex crimes and child abuse — with one detective being cited for stating a belief that simple rape should not be considered a crime.The US Justice Department previously investigated the scandal-plagued (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: A Government Corrupted

There’s no trace of hyperbole in denouncing Stephen Harper as the Great Corrupter.  He is corrupt and he corrupts whatever he touches whenever and however it suits him.

The proof is pretty much everywhere but a shining example is the National Energy Board.   Take it from Marc Elieson, an energy executive and former CEO of BC Hydro.

Marc Eliesen  …has quit his role as an intervenor in the federal review of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and oil tanker expansion project, calling the National Energy Board “a truly captured regulator.” Eliesen has worked in the nation’s energy (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Corrupt Spanish politics faces shock therapy from an angry electorate | Miguel-Anxo Murado | Comment is free | The Guardian

Corrupt Spanish politics faces shock therapy from an angry electorate | Miguel-Anxo Murado | Comment is free | The Guardian.

 

Being “between Pinto and Valdemoro” is an old Spanish saying that refers to being in trouble. Now with the number of politicians being investigated for corruption in Spain nearing 2,000, including the mayor of that very Valdemoro town of lore, you could say that the whole Spanish political class finds itself between Pinto and Valdemoro. And it’s not just in the size of the problem but its timing. Embezzlement of public funds is never received with enthusiasm but (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the Cons’ presumption that any individual who breaches the social contract must be punished with a total lack of freedom – and their curious lack of any similar principle when it comes to corporate wrongdoing.

For further reading…- I’ve dealt with issues relating to mandatory minimum sentences plenty of times before, while the likes of Dan Gardner and John Moore have taken them on directly. But see examples of the Cons’ unduly strict individual sentencing being struck down here and here.  – Richard Blackwell reported on the SNC-Lavalin’s demand to be held above the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- The Tyee’s recent series on important sources of inequality is well worth a read, as Emily Fister interviews Andrew Longhurst about precarious work and Sylvia Fuller about the role of motherhood.

- David Cole asks just how corrupt U.S. politics have become, while Frances O’Grady observes that U.K workers don’t believe for a second that their employer can’t afford to pay living wages. Robert Reich sees Detroit as a prime example of wealthy individuals shirking their responsibility to pay for the public goods they enjoy. And Joseph Stiglitz notes that gross (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Bert Olivier is the latest to weigh in on Paul Verhaeghe’s work showing that the obsessive pursuit of market fundamentalism harms our health in a myriad of ways: What does the neoliberal “organisation” of society amount to? As the title of the book indicates, it is market-based, in the tacit belief that the abstract entity called the “market” is better suited than human beings themselves to provide a (supposedly) humane structure to the communities in which we live. But because neoliberal capitalism stands or falls by the question, whether profit is generated (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- George Monbiot discusses how a market-based society makes people unhealthy in a myriad of ways – and how it’s worth maintaining our innate reluctance to value everything and everybody around us solely in terms of dollar values: The market was meant to emancipate us, offering autonomy and freedom. Instead it has delivered atomisation and loneliness.

The workplace has been overwhelmed by a mad, Kafkaesque infrastructure of assessments, monitoring, measuring, surveillance and audits, centrally directed and rigidly planned, whose purpose is to reward the winners and punish the losers. It destroys autonomy, enterprise, innovation (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Robert Green looks at Quebec as a prime example of selective austerity – with tax cuts and other goodies for the wealthy considered sacrosanct, and well-connected insiders being paid substantial sums of public money to tell citizens they’ll have to make do with less: In a move that seems perfectly symbolic of the sort of politics his government represents, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard announced this week that the five members of the government commission charged with reviewing government programs and recommending where to make cuts will be paid the tidy sum of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Monica Potts responds to the big lie that increasing inequality and perpetual poverty are necessary – or indeed remotely beneficial – as elements of economic growth: Hanauer and Piketty inspire these broadsides because they are challenging, in a far more aggressive way than plutocrats and economists usually do, the conservative economic orthodoxy that has reigned since at least the 1980s. Under Ronald Reagan, we called it trickle-down economics, the idea that the men who can afford their own private jets—they’re usually men—deserve gobs of money because they provide some special entrepreneurial or innovative (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Linda McQuaig discusses how a burgeoning wealth gap is particularly obvious when it comes to retirement security: Quaint as it now seems, not long ago this was considered a good basic plan: Work hard all your life and then retire with a comfortable pension.

In recent times, a new plan has replaced it: Work hard all your life and then all bets are off.

The notion of retirement security in exchange for a lifetime of hard work — a central element in the implicit social contract between capital and labour in the (Read more…)

ParliamANT Hill: ConservAntive SenAntor faces 31 charges

Inspired by this headline: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/mike-duffy-faces-31-charges-including-bribery-fraud-breach-of-trust-1.2709500