Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: More Totalitarianism From The Harper

Just as Harper has been tearing down the apparatus of scientific research that would ordinarily be used by governing parties to make informed policy decisions, the next prong of his attack on reasoned governance in Canada has begun.

It really began in 2012, when the government rolled out a program with specific funding for the CRA to go after charitable organizations that the government suspects of overspending on "political activity".

Read more »

drive-by planet: New government in Kiev not exactly ‘revolutionary’: demonization of Russia

 Top – Kiev government officials / Beneath – billionaire oligarchs  Igor Kolomoyski and  Sergey Taruta

It comes as no surprise that the so-called “democratic  revolution” in Ukraine basically boils down to a change of governing elites. The self-appointed government in Kiev does not herald any sweeping change that could credibly be described as  “revolutionary” or even progressive.  

The new government is prepared to enact austerity conditions that will be part and parcel of any IMF loan package. One reason Yanukovych pulled the plug on EU negotiations was due to the requirement for austerities such as a freeze on salaries (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Con Regime and the Attempted Muzzling of Marc Mayrand

It couldn't have been a more revolting spectacle. Canada's Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand called to testify before a House of Commons committee.To talk about the foul voter suppression bill known as the Fair Elections Act, and the Harper regime's attempts to muzzle him.Only to have the Cons try to muzzle him again, by breaking a deal they had with the opposition, and scheduling a vote in the Commons, just as Mayrand was preparing to address the committee.Which had even the MSM gasping in disbelief.Read more »

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: The Future Of The CPC

Andrew Coyne made an excellent point in his column about the Manning Networking Conference that the Manning Centre is hosting in Ottawa:

So this is what a Conservative convention looks like.  After that bizarre lockdown in Calgary last fall – reporters harassed and penned in at every turn, the prime minister’s defiantly empty speech, the air heavy with self-congratulation and paranoia – the annual Manning Networking conference exudes an altogether different spirit:  thoughtful, open, introspective and conservative.…The party that met in Calgary was not so much the Conservative party as the Harper party.  It was run by and for (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Ukraine’s fascist ‘heroes’ and a bleak new dawn

 Beneath: Banner of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera hangs in Kiev City Hall /  Yulia Tymoshenko

The forcible removal of Victor Yanukovych’s regime in what has been likened to a “fascist putsch” has led to an unstable and potentially dangerous situation in the Ukraine. Terms such as “democratic revolution” used by MSM to describe what has gone down in Kiev is both naive and misleading. It isn’t unlike the rose-tinted heralding of a democratic revolution in Egypt… even as general SiSi was waiting in the wings to bring down the hammer and female journalists were being subjected to sexual assault by (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Ultra-nationalists and fascist thugs – tools of imperialist designs in Ukraine

The protests in the Ukraine that began last November in Kiev’s Independence Square – the Maidan – were staged to protest president Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to back out of a plan to join a trade agreement with the EU, in preference for joining the Eurasian Customs Union.

As with most political protests on this scale it isn’t a single issue conflict. Underlying the EU issue are a lot of other domestic tensions, some driven by hardline nationalists and far-right elements.

During recent street fighting in Kiev, the majority of protestors appeared to be okay with the role played by the (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Swiss vote on immigration boosts far-right parties through rest of Europe | World news | The Observer

Swiss vote on immigration boosts far-right parties through rest of Europe | World news | The Observer.

When Christian Ragger heard that the Swiss had voted to cap immigration into their country in a referendum last weekend, he was “deeply impressed”, he says. “All over the world, immigration is protected [from being limited]. It required a special courage to vote in that way. This was a typically democratic Swiss action.”

Ragger heads the local branch of the Austrian Freedom party (FPÖ) in its mountainous stronghold of Carinthia, in the south of the country. Once led by the flamboyant (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper, Jimbo Flaherty, and the Fascist Pigs

It had to be one of the most bizarre sights I have ever seen in Question Period. And yet another sign that the Con regime is running out of steam, and Stephen Harper is losing his marbles.

For there was Jimbo Flaherty, on the day after his budget, sitting like a wax figure, or a garden gnome, while Great Ugly Leader answered all the questions directed at his muzzled Finance Minister.

And it does look a lot like the income splitting question is splitting the Con regime. Read more »

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: … It Gets Darker

A break from analyzing Bill C-23 today, but not a break from covering the darkness that is Harper’s shadow.

Today’s instalment comes in the form of the obviously politically motivated witch-hunt that the CRA is engaging in with environmental organizations in this country.  This isn’t particularly new, the Conservatives have been trying to paint the environmental lobby in this country as “terrorists” for years.

Finance Minister Flaherty announced today that the upcoming budget would contain more of the same: “There are some terrorist organizations, there are some organized crime organizations that launder money through charities, and make donations to charities,” (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Putin’s Russia: Where Gay People Are Hunted Like Animals

Well by now I'm sure you've all heard the latest horror story to emerge from Putin's Russia.The story about the brutish Mayor of Sochi Putingrad and his claim that there are no gay people in his corrupt village. And had a good laugh, like I did, when some of them were found hiding in a gay club. Even though they were only a handful.

Read more »

Autonomy For All: Why Do Conservatives Accuse Everyone Of Marxism & Nazism So Much?

Anyone familiar with politics online has encountered the very common strain of right winger (some are “libertarians” instead of conservatives, but I didn’t want to burden the title too much) who run around equating all forms of left wing politics from liberalism, social democrats and other soft-socialists to full bore Marxist-Stalinists, Maoists & (of course, nonsensically) Nazis & fascists.

Why do they do this?  I mean, the distinctions between left-of-centre politics as practiced in the entire rich world set of democracies and those totalitarian ideologies are glaring and numerous.  It can’t be persuasive to anyone who can (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Papers, Citizen!

As if it couldn’t get any worse, the ridiculous paranoia of the Harper regime has surfaced once more in the wake of a sneaky, but peaceful protest in BC.  Senator Runciman wants a law so that protests like this can’t happen again.

“People who sneak into these kinds of events, using phony ID, impersonate others, or conspire with others to do the same, should face indictable offences with serious fines and/or imprisonment,” said Senator Runciman in a written statement sent to the parliamentary press gallery. 

“The decision not to charge two individuals who impersonated wait staff, avoided RCMP security (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Of "Porn Filters" and Agendas

Remember July this year, when Joy Smith stood up in Canada’s Parliament and suggested we should follow the UK’s example and implement a “porn filter”?

Well, Cameron’s filter is about to go live, and as one might have expected, it’s blocking a heck of a lot more than just “adult content” websites:

Included in O2′s “parental control blocklist” are such hotbeds of hardcore porn as Slashdot, EFF, Linux Today, Blogspot, No Starch Press, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, and, of course,Boing Boing. 

A more complete investigation is here.

None of the sites listed above are exactly hotbeds of porn.  In (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: More on Baird and Iran

People, even the media who watch such things, seem mystified by the Harper Government(tm) stance on Iran.

It’s no big surprise, really.  When I took this blog out from under wraps in May, I wrote a lengthy essay describing the “Modern Fascism” that Harper has been cultivating.  On foreign affairs, I wrote the following: Naturally, he would play on this in such a manner as to play up the idea that Canada is being marginalized on the world stage and use that to build up a form an nationalism not unlike what happened in Germany in the post-WWI years as (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: NAFTA, “Free Trade” and the TPP: Fast-Track To Full Corporate Rule

“Twenty years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law. At the time, advocates painted a rosy picture of booming U.S. exports creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and economic development in Mexico, which would bring the struggling country in line with its wealthier northern neighbors. Two decades later, those […]

Parchment in the Fire: The left in Greece must rise up against Golden Dawn | Costas Lapavitsas | Comment is free | theguardian.com

The left in Greece must rise up against Golden Dawn | Costas Lapavitsas | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

Greece – and the rise of Golden Dawn – is an extreme parable of what has happened to many developed countries since the global crisis broke out in 2007. The policies of the Greek “rescue” – where the Greek people had no inkling what was afoot until the agreement was signed in 2010, leading to a tremendous spasm of anger – are instantly recognisable, if exceptionally severe. Wages, salaries and pensions have been cut; austerity has been imposed on the (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Government Crackdown on Golden Dawn Won’t Defeat Greek Fascism

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10812

Costas Lapavitsas on why the state crackdown on Golden Dawn fails to address the basis of their popular support.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Extreme Right, Fascism, Greece

Parchment in the Fire: Norway’s disturbing lurch to the right | Alf Gunvald Nilsen | Comment is free | theguardian.com

Norway’s disturbing lurch to the right | Alf Gunvald Nilsen | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

The results from today’s Norwegian elections are more or less clear: with some 26.8% of the vote, the Conservative party (Høyre) is poised to head Norway’s next coalition government. The first thing to note about Norway’s unsettling rightward turn is the fact that the Progress party (Fremskrittspartiet) is set to join as junior partner in a coalition government. Disturbingy, a political party whose platform is marked above all else by an ardent anti-immigration agenda is capable of making such headway (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: US government shutdown, and other fairy tales and political theatre

I’m not sure what to make of the hoopla going on in the US right now. I’m inclined to think it’s all just political theatre, as Gerald Celente calls it, designed to distract the people from the real issues – the central one being, who controls the government and the nation? Wall Street, the big […]

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The deeper reasons for the “war on drugs”

There is a deeper reason for the war on drugs, which is the central reason for the policy, even outweighing profits from private prisons and seizure of property by law enforcement officers, both of which no doubt are also significant and strong motivations for keeping the “war on drugs” going. Nearly thirty years ago, Chomsky […]

Parchment in the Fire: Greece’s democracy in danger, warns Demos, as Greek reservists call for coup | World news | theguardian.com

Athens riot police fire tear gas at an anti-fascist protest calling for action against the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party following a rapper’s murder. Photo: Milos Bicanski/Getty

No country has displayed more of a “backslide in democracy” than Greece, the British thinktank Demos has said in a study highlighting the crisis-plagued country’s slide into economic, social and political disarray.

Released on the same day that judicial authorities ordered an investigation into a blog posting by a group of reservists in the elite special forces calling for a coup d’etat, the study singled out Greece and Hungary for being “the most significant (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Greece—1930s redux

When Europe sank into depression in the 1930s, politics polarized. The far right became more appealing to some, the far left to others. One reassured people by harking back to tribal values, the other by insisting nothing would do but to overthrow the system and start afresh.

In hard times, people become frightened and angry, and look for easy answers. Demagogues are ever ready to prey on their

Cowichan Conversations: Police Brutality in Canada! Is This Democracy?

Richard Hughes Political Blogger

Make no mistake folks the genie is out of the bottle and fascism is staring us right in the face. Many people do not want to hear that or deal with that unwelcome reality but it is undeniably the reality of Canada today.

This video is brought to us from ‘Operation Maple‘ whose clearly stated goal is to take Canada back.

Do your best to take care of yourselves and your families. There is not much if any help available from any of our political party’s as they are all singing of the same (Read more…)

drive-by planet: NSA leaks: abuse of power: John Pilger on the rise of a new fascism

Ed Snowden’s leaks that reveal the NSA’s borderless metadata trawling and massive invasion of Americans’ privacy is further evidence that something is rotten in the heart of empire. Equally disturbing is the shrug and compliance of the Fourth Estate. No matter how far their idol Obama strays from the principles some of us once believed he stood for, there are any number of pundits ready and willing to defend his betrayals and secretive abuse of power.

Violations of executive power that cast Cheney as a villain play differently with Obama who on the heels of recent revelations was quick to (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: US President Franklin Roosvelt- On Fascism

“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.

That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”

US President Franklin Deleanor Roosvelt-April 1938