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The Disaffected Lib: A Divided World that Pits Fact Against Fantasy

It’s the battle line between conservatives and everyone else.  It’s incredibly divisive and it is powerfully corrosive of social cohesion.  It’s a high-stakes war to control the national narrative between those who embrace fact and those who prefer fiction.

Pew Research set out to find what’s behind what it considers the increasing political polarization of the United States; why the country is moving away from political moderation and becoming more and more divided between liberals and conservatives. Its first report on the phenomenon, which examines where people are hearing news and opinion in both regular and social media, shows (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: A Divided World that Pits Fact Against Fantasy

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…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Make The Documentary of #ElxnFraud in #cdnpoli

Alison at Creekside has a much better summary of what’s happening behind the scenes on the RoboCon movie than I could hope to write. Warning: If you keep reading though, you may feel the urge to spend $20 or more dollars toward exposing Canada’s most effective election fraud criminals.

Ten minute promotional video on an investigative documentary in production which previews preliminary interviews. from The Script & Film Co. on Vimeo.

Democracy Under Fire: Naturalists Targeted by Canada Revenue Agency

First they came for the environmentalists and the activists. Then they came for the scientists. Then they came for those who fight poverty, and help the poor. Now they’ve come for the birdwatchers.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Field Naturalists, a registered charity, is apparently at risk of breaking tax agency rules that limit so-called political or partisan activities. Earlier this year, tax auditors sent a letter to the 300-member group, warning about political material on the group’s website. The stern missive says the group must take appropriate action as necessary “including refraining from undertaking any partisan activities,” with the ominous warning that “this letter does (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: ConCalls: Sona Sentencing Taking Too Long #RoboCon

Michael Sona has to wait until next month to find out how much time he’s spending in jail for being convicted of participating in a nefarious scheme to defraud Guelph voters of their votes.

Crown says actions "damage public faith in the democratic process" #robocalls

— Laura Stone (@l_stone) October 17, 2014

Sona, btw, has been convicted but has not admitted to involvement in Guelph robocall. He may appeal. He hasn't commented much since verdict.

— Stephen Maher (@stphnmaher) October 17, 2014

Justice 4 #Robocalls won't B found 4 me till t/#CPC is no longer a legal entity in (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: People Want BC Corporations to Pay More Tax

…or do they?

Every year the BC government consults with citizens on what should go into their budget.

Last year over 25% of the online survey respondents said new revenue should come from increased corporate taxes, triple the rate of people who thought personal income taxes should go up.

But there are problems with that; see below:

Programs and services are largely funded by tax revenues, and government works to balance where the money comes from. How would you generate one new dollar of tax revenue from among the sources below?

- from Report on the 2014 Budget Consultations

Problems:

(Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: And so it starts……

The first volleys in the election war to come that is, we have our ‘fearless leader’ “protecting Canadians” by sending a few planes and a handful of personnel over to Iran to drop a few bombs on the terrorist hordes. We have the first of many more to come promises designed to buy your votes next year with an increase in the ‘sports deduction’ for kids and an indication of where the advertising campaign is going to go. The Harper government is preparing to alter copyright law in Canada so politicians can use news footage and other journalistic content for (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Stop Persecuting The Rich, You Stinkers!

Rich folks, corporations and capitalists are feeling persecuted AGAIN!

George Monbiot explains that we [citizens in pseudo-democracies] are attacking them and their right to a free market as well as their right to be free from disloyal politicians pursuing policy goals that serve voting human people instead of businesses.

Here is an excerpt; click the link at the bottom for the rest of it:

The more power you possess, the more insecure you feel. The paranoia of power drives people towards absolutism. But far from curing them of the conviction that they are threatened and beleaguered, it becomes only stronger.

(Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: While Canada’s Free Press Gets Beheaded…

When one corporation owns most of the English language newspapers in Canada, the free press is essentially dead, not that it’s been much of anything but comatose for a while.

Switch to non-corporate media:

Worried that the PostMedia buy out of Sun News means you won’t have any options for news? Here’s a handy (imperfect, incomplete) list of websites to check out. (If you have any independent news sources I missed – I’m sure I did – message me and I’ll update…) Alright, third and last version for now (unless I decide to do something else with it…). Thanks for (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Are we too dumb for democracy?

Hey, the above is not my line. I plagiarized it from a CBC article about a new thesis from the University of B.C. that suggests our brains aren’t up to the rational, autonomous thinking required for democracy. Ph.D. political science candidate David Moscrop says voters across the political spectrum tend to vote with instinct rather than reason, i.e. with their “lizard brains,” that ancient part

Democracy Under Fire: Cabinet hides even more secrets.

A stealthy Treasury Board directive in the summer of 2013 required bureaucrats to ask departmental lawyers to decide what constitutes a secret, a decision that used to be made by the Privy Council Office, which oversees cabinet matters resulting in many more documents being exempted from Freedom of Information requests.

There is a growing list of seemingly routine reports, memos and documents caught up in an enhanced dragnet of so-called cabinet confidences. The Canadian Press has found dozens of cases from various departments in which reports, briefing materials and emails have been excluded entirely under Section 69 of the Access (Read more…)

Left Over: The US Declares Permanent War in Arab Winter

How ISIS and Syria drove a stake through the Arab Spring The rise of ISIS is a setback for reform in a region that is crying out for it

By Nahlah Ayed, CBC News Posted: Oct 03, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 03, 2014 5:00 AM ET

The fact is that like it or not, the Brotherhood won the democratic election in Egypt fair and square. The West’s response? Well, uh, democracy is fine for the rest of us, but obviously, Egypt ‘doesn’t get it’ and we can’t have a fundamentalist high-jacking our attempts to ‘democratize’ Egypt..so we’ll (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: A Year Without Politics

From October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015, I will be abstaining from politics.

Those who know me are probably wondering if they should be dragging me to the nearest emergency room and demanding expensive brain scans. Those who don’t are probably just confused as to why I would bother in the first place.

I don’t have a great answer, except to say that I am curious as to how a lack of personal awareness shapes our lives. We all know people who live in a political void. They don’t vote, they don’t discuss politics, they don’t understand (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: New Canadians Abandoning Stephen Harper, Conservatives

A new poll by EKOS shows that new Canadians are deserting Stephen Harper and the Conservatives “despite aggressive wooing” by Jason Kenney in the last three years.

The post New Canadians Abandoning Stephen Harper, Conservatives appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Bill Longstaff: Hong Kong—a people who actually care about democracy

North Americans don’t seem to care much about democracy. Canadians don’t, and our good neighbours the Americans don’t. We enjoy considerable freedoms along with our electoral systems of government, but our systems are hardly democratic, and it doesn’t seem to bother us. If it did, we would never tolerate them.

Observation of the American system suggests a plutocracy, not a democracy. A recent

The Canadian Progressive: 130 civil society organizations reject Canada-EU CETA trade deal

More than 130 civil society organizations on both sides of the Atlantic have reiterated their continuing rejection of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or CETA.

The post 130 civil society organizations reject Canada-EU CETA trade deal appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Democracy Under Fire: Rock Snot a State Secret?

Back in May of this year a reporter from The Canadian Press made a request to speak to Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientist Max Bothwell the recognized expert on Rock Snot (a single-celled algae that attaches to rocks on river bottoms) what followed can only be called bizarre. It most certainly shows exactly how far the Harper Regime has moved from their ‘Open and Accountable’ promise when they took power and reinforces what we already know about their perchance for suppressing information, particularly science information. Having never received the requested interview the reporter filed an access to information (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: MPs Obstructed, Undermined and Impeded!

Recently Green Party Leader Elizabeth May spoke to her fellow MP’s and the Speaker of The House regarding the governments ever increasing practice of limiting debate upon important legislation before The House. She contends that the rights of her and her colleagues in parliament have been “obstructed, undermined and impeded” and that “constituents are deprived of their right to have their concerns adequately voiced in the House” by this practice. It is hard to disagree with that assessment. What follows are a few extracts from her presentation which I recommend you read in full and may be viewed on her (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: RCMP + CSIS – Add Water and Stir. Voila, the Stasi Lives Again

They were East Germany’s dreaded secret police.   They spied on ordinary East Germans, tapped their phones, intercepted their mail, assessed their ‘reliability’, used informants, kept dossiers on persons of interest and ordinary citizens alike.  

The hated Stasi fell with the Berlin Wall but they live on – in today’s RCMP, the Royal Conservative Mounted Police, Harper’s personal security apparatus. Today the RCMP, in conjunction with our official spy agency, CSIS, and the Canadian Border Service Agency, operate a domestic spying network called the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, INSET.

And just whose security is INSET enforcing? Yours? (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Scotland, Crimea and the Right To Self-Determination

Do the people of Scotland have the right to vote in a referendum to determine their own future? Of course they do. Just as the people of Greece had, and have, the right to vote in a referendum as to whether or not to stay in the EU. And do the people of Crimea have […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: What do I want? Revolutionary change – nothing less will do at this critical time in our history

I want nothing short of revolutionary change, a radical change, a renaissance. I think it is needed – urgently needed: and I do not think that human beings are going to survive at all without it. We have, inadvertently, pressed our backs against a wall. I think we need to rise to a higher level […]

Democracy Under Fire: Essential Reading for Democracy.

There have been a number of articles highlighting former Conservative MP Mr. Rathgeber’s new book Irresponsible Government: The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy in Canada in recent days.That he outlines the tight control that the PMO exercises over the Conservative MP’s is hardly a surprise given that he quit the Conservative caucus over having his private members bill nixed by them, however such concerns by those who sit, of have sat, in the House are not new. “Mr. Rathgeber, twice elected as a Conservative before quitting caucus last year, outlines how MPs have seen their powers fade away, reduced (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Restoring the Vox Populi

Some thoughts for this, Labour Day.The voice of the people.  Oh, how long has it been since that really meant anything?  In Canada and many other advanced countries, polls show that people are being governed without much if any regard to their views, their concerns.

It’s sort of like standing, waiting at the civic bus stop for a bus that just keeps passing you by.

Canadians want action on climate change.  Are they going to get it?  No. Canadians want action on inequality.  Are they going to get it?  Don’t be ridiculous.

The American people utterly loathe their federal (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Against Collective Forgetting

Workers must do our part to Stop Harper!

Happy Labour Day!

In Stephen Harper’s Canada, we keep enumerating the things we’re losing: meaningful legislative debate, evidence-based policy, public science, a free and open society, among other things. But what happens if we go too long with a slow erosion of the features that make our society vibrant? What happens if we let the right wing continue to teach us that we shouldn’t expect anything meaningful from government?

What happens if young Canadians grow up without a sense of what used to be the Canadian birthright: Medicare, the CPP, and (Read more…)

Democracy Under Fire: The War of Words

I am tired of beating my head against the wall repeating things I have been saying here in this blog for over 5 years, this week I am going to simply point you towards a few other folk who are also aware of the dangers of believing everything we are told by the truth spinning oligarchs that have the nerve to call themselves a democratic government. They are not, they are a regime whose sole stated purpose is to bring our government bureaucracy and election process to the point where they and only they can hold the reins of power (Read more…)