Alberta Politics: Deconstructing political discourse in Alberta: Doublethink is alive and well in recessionary Wild Rose Country

PHOTOS: Parson Manning spreads the Gospel of Market Fundamentalism in his days as leader of the Reform Party of Alberta. The actual neoliberal preacher-men of Confederation may not appear exactly as illustrated. Photo grabbed from Elmer Gantry, the movie. Below: Brian Jean, leader of the Wildrose Opposition (from wildrose.ca); the prime minister Trudeau whose policies ...

Politics and its Discontents: On Our Diversions

This is one of those days when I haven’t felt like writing anything. And George Orwell said just about everything better, anyway. H/t Mint Press News Recommend this Post

Alberta Diary: Ten Questions about the Harper Government’s embrace of war with ISIS-ISIL-IS

Ready, Aye, Ready! Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird whips up the War Party in the House of Commons. Below: Stephen Harper, the prime minister, and Edmonton Centre MP Laurie Hawn. Stephen Harper, John Baird, Laurie Hawn and the rest of the boys yesterday finally got the war in Iraq they’ve been pining for since 2003. ...

Politics and its Discontents: Message From Orwell: "I Warned You" – A Mound Of Sound Guest Post

You don’t have to dig very deep to get a pretty clear picture of the decline of today’s global civilization. The good times are gone, over, finished. We’re out of stuff, plain and simple. The game today is for one select group of people to employ its considerable advantages to mine the remaining wealth out ...

Politics and its Discontents: More Food For Thought

I am still working on my flooring, and as someone to whom the term handyman has little application, I am working very slowly. Therefore, in lieu of a post, I offer this wisdom from George Orwell: Recommend this Post

Susan on the Soapbox: The Progressive Conservatives Prepare for War–Really!

“Our organization cannot lose the grassroots donation battle to our opposition if we hope to win the war in 2016.”—Ron Renaud, PC Chief Financial Officer Win the war in 2016???  The “war” metaphor Before we get sucked into the “war” metaphor let’s pause and consider what George Orwell taught us—thought can corrupt language and language ...

Cowichan Conversations: Don’t Let Truth Be A Stranger

Politics and its Discontents: A Saturday Evening Thought

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Cowichan Conversations: Big Brother’s power is building, warns George Orwell biographer

Mankind, like the proverbial lobster in the pot, is becoming conditioned to losing rights and freedoms at an alarming rate. ‘Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning. He felt that if someone didn’t sound the alarm loudly enough, eventually a lot of the freedoms he cherished would be lost. -’CBC News Little do they know! Michael ...

Alberta Diary: Former Tory strategist Allan Gregg rips Harper Cons’ ‘systematic attack’ on facts and reason

A couple of old guys born just before the last King passed on, one of them your blogger, the other the pollster and former Tory strategist Allan Gregg. Below: Mr. Gregg in his iconoclastically Conservative heyday. Long-time Tory pollster and strategist Allan Gregg ripped into the Harper Government on Saturday for what he termed its ...

Politics and its Discontents: Score Another One For Orwell

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever. – George Orwell As always, the writer had exceptional clarity about where Western society was headed. H/t Steve Collett Recommend this Post

The Canadian Progressive: Stephen Harper’s Canada is reminiscent of Orwell’s Nightmarish “1984″ World

By Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive, Feb. 18, 2013: Allan Gregg, a prominent media commentator, chairperson of polling firm Harris/Decima, and strategist for the Progressive Conservatives under Brian Mulroney, says Stephen Harper‘s Canada is reminiscent of Orwell’s nightmarish “1984” world. So he said in an impassioned delivered at Carleton University on September 5, 2012. Gregg tells us: “A quick ...

Dead Wild Roses: Orwell Day – Better late than Never

   Orwell day was January 21st, and of course, I missed it.  Media Lens did not miss the boat and has an article up laced with the sort of irony and breathtaking self-deception that Orwell fought against. “January 21, ‘Orwell Day’, marked the 63rd anniversary of George Orwell’s death, Steven Poole notes in the Guardian. ...

Alberta Diary: About Stephen Harper’s ambassadorial timeshare: maybe he missed the lesson on the Statute of Westminster!

Canadian and British Joint-Embassy diplomats work out their timeshare arrangements. Below: The young Stephen Harper on the day he missed his history lecture after lingering too long over Atlas Shrugged; Perfesser Dave feeds lines to Opposition leader Tom Mulcair last weekend; Mr. Harper at the NCC. Like Sir John A. Macdonald, a British subject I ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Assault on Reason

Yesterday I wrote a post on the important role education plays in the development of critical thinking skills, skills that are crucial for anyone who aspires to being something more than a puppet of government and corporate propaganda. Unfortunately, as I noted, current education reforms under consideration in Ontario will undermine the building of those ...

Politics and its Discontents: Words, Words, Words

As a retired English teacher and a lifelong lover of books, I have always been fascinated by words, both what they actually mean and how they are used to influence and manipulate. As the years have gone by, I have become especially interested in the political uses and abuses of language along the lines described ...

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Orthodoxy is unconsciousness

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?… Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive … Continue reading →

Politics and its Discontents: Seismic Activity Reported In Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, England

In one of the best examples of doublespeak I have encountered in a long time, Ontario Finance Minister had this to say about wage freezes and bargaining rights yesterday: “Bargaining in good faith is not only the right choice to make, the Supreme Court of Canada requires it,” the finance minister said, emphasizing the goal ...