Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Alberta Politics: Brad Wall’s call to block refugees from Syria is just more of the same old conservative wedge politics

PHOTOS: Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall (CBC Photo). Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott and B.C. Premier Christy Clark. Bottom: Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is either demonized or ignored by Western mainstream media. In light of the inevitably angry and emotional response to the Paris terror attacks on Friday the 13th, for […]

The post Brad Wall’s call to block refugees from Syria is just more of the same old conservative wedge politics appeared first on Alberta Politics.

The Canadian Progressive: John Oliver Rants Against Paris Attackers: “Fuck These Assholes”

Comedian John Oliver has the perfect response to the Islamic State-linked terrorists who carried out last Friday’s barbaric attack in Paris, France, killing 129 people.

The post John Oliver Rants Against Paris Attackers: “Fuck These Assholes” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Bill Longstaff: Paris—the blowback of imperialism

U.S. President Barack Obama has referred to the atrocities in Paris as attacks “on all of humanity.” He is wrong, of course. The attacks were specifically directed at France, an ex-imperialist European nation that has a long history of colonizing, oppressing and exploiting the Muslim peoples of North Africa and the Middle East, and that continues to interfere in their affairs to this very day.

The Disaffected Lib: Could Syria Become the 21st Century Sarajevo?

There were plenty of proxy wars during the Cold War only back then the principals had enough sense to avoid direct clashes. That was then, this is Syria where today we find the rival superpowers circling each other inside the same phone booth.

You could search the world over and never find one place where so many players are gathered as Syria.

First up is the Alawite government of Bashar Assad.

Then there’s the original rebels, Syrian Sunnis.

Then we have the Sunni Islamists – the ‘moderate’ al Nusra, an affiliate of al Qaeda, and the far nastier Islamic State, (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: What’s next? F-35 boondoggle to land on the deck of a Canadian Mistral carrier?

PHOTOS: The F-35, possibly the worst military aircraft ever made, dollar for dollar or pound for pound, photographed to make it look less like a brick. A hovering version of the same plane. A not-quite-finished Mistral-class helicopter carrier. SANTA FE, N.M. I suppose a hotel in the desert, just down the block from the address […]

The post What’s next? F-35 boondoggle to land on the deck of a Canadian Mistral carrier? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

The Disaffected Lib: Merkel’s Toxic Tonic

Has German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s subjugation of Greece inadvertently poisoned European unity?  That’s how a pro-EU lobby group sees it.

“The last few weeks have laid totally bare the European Union’s brand of authoritarian dogma,” UKIP leader Nigel Farage wrote in the London Telegraph.

“More and more people are waking up to the dangers of this supranational beast sweeping aside national sovereignty completely. Many who had continued to believe until very recently that the EU was compassionate and forward-looking are beginning to realise just how backwards the whole project is.”

Pablo Echenique, a deputy from Spain’s radical left Podemos, (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Will Canadian troops in Ukraine have to train radical Islamist volunteers said to be tied to ISIS?

PHOTOS: Defence Minister Jason Kenney explains who Canadian troops will train in Ukraine last fall. Below: Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ukraine in 2010. Photos are from the CBC and the Prime Minister’s Office’s Flickr account. It’s been evident for several months now Ukraine has a problem with neo-Nazis, in particular battalions of “volunteers” who […]

The post Will Canadian troops in Ukraine have to train radical Islamist volunteers said to be tied to ISIS? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: France Has Law To Put Solar or Plants on Rooftops

I was impressed to learn that France had made new commercial buildings do this. I’ve felt badly that new buildings going up all over the University of Regina campus since I started paying attention to it in 1998, haven’t put a single solar panel up on them. There’s a building on Research Dr. with a round skylight that looks like a CD player, that would have been a perfect spot for some solar panels. At least the RIC building in 2006 had a partial green roof built onto its shady side.

Things Are Good: In France New Buildings Need Green Roofs

Green roofs or solar panels are now required on all new commercial buildings in the country of France. This is great because now buildings can have either a zero energy impact or contribute to their local environment.

Rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels, under a law approved on Thursday.

Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer

Read more.

Bill Longstaff: French hold most favourable views of Jews and Muslims

How the French view their minority populations after the violent events earlier this month will probably take a while to sort out. But a poll conducted last year suggested they were about the most tolerant in Europe.

Eighty-nine per cent of French men and women hold a favourable view of Jews and 72 per cent hold a favourable view of Muslims. The British were second, with 83 per cent and 64 per

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice – MisterDeity responds to the Pope.

Sometimes the Pope makes a error when speaking. We all do. But this was not one of those times and Mr.Deity unabashedly and quite colourfully rips into the perfidious pontiff over his comments about the recent murders in France.

*Strong Language Warning*

I’m not sure what the pope was thinking on this one, but I think rightly he deserves the chastisement Mr.D brings to the table.

Filed under: Religion Tagged: France, Mr.Deity, Pope Francis

Politics and its Discontents: What’s Next? Thoughtcrime?

Yesterday I wrote a brief post on how the French government, despite massive outpourings in defense of free speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, is moving to severely curtail that right for those with whom it disagrees.

The Toronto Star has an editorial strongly condemning the French action, using the following examples to bolster its expression of odium: …the French authorities have arrested comic Dieudonné M’bala M’bala and more than 50 others including several minors for voicing unpopular views of their own.

Not accused of any acts of terrorism, they ran afoul of France’s tough laws against (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Have The Terrorists Already Won?

Much press has been devoted to the aftermath of the cowardly massacre at Charlie Hebdo; strong displays of solidarity both in defence of freedom of expression and disdain for the jihadists’ efforts to squelch it, have been widespread. But despite these demonstrations, one can legitimately ask if the terrorists have already achieved victory.

I offer but one example here of the egregious irony/hypocrisy of a state-sanctioned suppression of the very right that so many are so staunchly defending against attack.

Associated Press journalists Lori Hinnant and Angela Charlton report the following: In a sign that French judicial authorities were (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: The Eurozone’s ‘New Austerity Model’ » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

The Eurozone’s ‘New Austerity Model’ » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.

by Jack Rasmus

In the coming weeks and months, as the Eurozone economy weakens still further, it is likely that debates and splits within the Eurozone capitalist elites will continue to intensify.

The Eurozone economy has never really recovered from the 2008-09 financial crash and recession. Austerity policies—that played a major role in preventing a sustained Eurozone economic recovery for the past five years—are now evolving into still newer forms.

Events in the recent past in Spain, measures approved in just the past week by the newly (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Front National wins seats in French senate for first time | World news | The Guardian

Front National wins seats in French senate for first time | World news | The Guardian.

Marine le Pen hailed her party’s success as ‘an absolutely historic victory’ and a ‘breath of fresh air in a rather sleepy chamber’. Photograph: Phililppe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

The far-right Front National (FN) scored a historic victory in elections to the French senate on Sunday, winning its first ever seats in the upper chamber as the ruling Socialists and their leftwing allies lost their majority to rightwing parties.

The shock victory of Stéphane Ravier from Marseilles and David Rachline from Fréjus confirmed the party’s political (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Eurozone fears of stagnation grow as France and Italy suffer | World news | The Observer

Eurozone fears of stagnation grow as France and Italy suffer | World news | The Observer.


Francois Hollande and Paris’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, at a ceremony on 25 August marking the 70th anniversary of liberation. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

François Hollande removed his government’s leading anti-German, anti-austerity leftwinger last week. By the following day the French president had already co-opted part of the message of the departed disloyal firebrand, Arnaud Montebourg.

As France’s ambassadors from around the world converged on Paris for their annual presidential pep talk, Hollande launched a fresh broadside against Berlin and Brussels. He called for (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: An austerity revolt has broken the French government. Will the EU follow? | John Palmer | Comment is free |

An austerity revolt has broken the French government. Will the EU follow? | John Palmer | Comment is free |

If there were any lingering doubts about the seriousness of the crisis hanging over the future of the euro – and potentially of the European Union itself – the shock announcement of the dissolution of the French government should remove them.

The tensions within the French socialist government have been building up for months as the economy has threatened to “double dip”. But it has been public criticism by the French economy minister, Arnaud Montebourg, of Paris’s compliance (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Supermarket Loves Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

Just because it’s not good looking doesn’t mean it tastes bad. Growers take their odd-looking fruit and usually sell it to juice, soup, or canneries instead of grocery store. One grocery store chain in France decided to take the produce usually rejected by consumers and make something fun out of it. This marketing synopsis covers what they did:

Intermarché launched the Inglorious Fruits&Vegetables, a film, print, poster and radio campaign, celebrating the beauty of the Grotesque Apple, the Ridiculous Potato, the Hideous Orange, the Failed Lemon, the Disfigured Eggplant, the Ugly Carrot, and the Unfortunate Clementine. Now you can eat (Read more…)

Things Are Good: France Pays People to Cycle to Work

France is experimenting with new way to subsidize transportation by getting more people to bicycle to work. Traffic in Paris is particularly awful and with ongoing population growth and car-focused infrastructure the transportation problems are only going to increase. France is hoping that getting people to ride bicycles will stymie the growth of transportation issues.

French Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier, noting that commuting using public transport and cars is already subsidized, said that if results of the test are promising, a second experiment on a larger scale will be done.

The ministry hopes that the bike-to-work incentive scheme will boost (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Britain’s, Not France’s, Middle Class Is Being ‘Run Into The Dust’

Filed under: Capitalism Tagged: Britain, Capitalism, France, investment, productivity

Parchment in the Fire: Five Theses on the French Left

Reblogged from thecurrentmoment:

As an antidote to the snide gossip that passes for analysis of French politics at the moment, and in line with our broader reflection on the state of the European left, here are five theses on the French left that we hope might go some way to explaining the present impasse.

1. The French Socialist Party remains haunted by François Mitterrand’s u-turn in 1983-4.

Read more… 1,096 more words

Molly'sBlog: CNT-f Faces Eviction


     The CNT-f is the larger of the two anarchosyndicalist/revolutionary syndicalist union federations in France. They have traditionally been called the ‘CNT-Vignoles’ after their headquarters at 33 rue Vignoles in Paris. They have survived a previous attempt to evict them in 1996, but now they are facing a fresh attack from the Mayor of Paris.     The following is their statement on the events. The original French version can be here. You can follow events from either their website or from the site of their newspaper Combat Syndicaliste. These events seem reminiscent of the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: France Bans Child “Beauty” Pageants

The bizarre practice of over-sexualizing prepubescent girls on stages in front of people has now been banned in France. I’ve never understood the reasoning behind these pageants and it’s nice to see that other people see the problematic behaviour behind them. Hopefully other countries will follow France’s example.

The Senate agreed to adopy tough sanctions to anyone flouting the law.

Under the new law, organizers of pageants under the age of 16 may now face up to two years in prison if they fail to comply with the ban and a fine of up to €30,000 ($40,000).

“Let’s not let (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: How will the West react when the Sauds turn on their people?

Various Western nations, including Great Britain, the U.S. and France, are exhibiting great outrage against Syria’s assaults on its own people. And outrage is indeed called for. Yet there is no small measure of hypocrisy about the West’s righteous anger.

Another dictatorship in the Middle East, the misogynous Saud family of Saudi Arabia, may in the not too distant future see its people rise up

The Disaffected Lib: And the Walls Come Tumbling Down

Another look at the century old and ongoing, lethal aftermath of the way Britain and France carved up the Middle East following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire post WWI.  It’s a topic addressed here in several posts, the most recent just yesterday.

We’re now witnessing the walls, built by the Brits and the French in carving up the region to suit their convenience, beginning to crumble.   Will the west now step in to shore up their malignant handiwork even as it collapses under the weight of irreconcilable ethnic and religious tensions?  From The Independent:

…for (Read more…)