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Alberta Politics: In Flanders Fields? It’s time to encourage another generation of school kids to read some better poems from the Great War

PHOTOS: In Flanders Fields? The reality of the Great war’s battlefields: squalor, incompetence, mechanized industrial death. Below: John McCrae, and a Great War poet still worth reading, Wilfred Owen. A civilization that forgets its poetry is barely worthy of the name. Like fiction and unlike non-fiction, poetry is how a culture’s most profound truths are […]

The post In Flanders Fields? It’s time to encourage another generation of school kids to read some better poems from the Great War appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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…)

Eclectic Lip: Dieseldammerüng

image taken from’s latest t-shirt

Before we get to this message’s main event, I’ll throw another brief shoutout to Pope Francis. Sure, he leads one of the world’s socially most regressive organizations, but he seems to be pulling in the right direction, and ultimately, he’s not in fact that powerful — his level of authority is more Barack Obama than Stephen Harper, let alone Kim Jong-Il.

While there’s general awareness of the doctrine of Papal infallibility, it was only formalized in the 19th century, and has only ever been invoked twice. So it’s one of many late-arriving concepts we (Read more…) Aphabeatic: Germany’s broadband plan shames Canada (again)

Germany will have affordable internet connections of at least 50 Mbps by 2018. The Harper government promised 5 Mbps by 2019. Enough said…

Which party do you think will do a better job at ensuring Canadians get faster, cheaper Internet? Let us know in the comments below!

Article by Peter Nowak for Alphabeatic

read more

Alberta Politics: The refugee crisis: Harper Conservatives just can’t spin it both ways

PHOTOS: Refugees from the Syrian civil war clog a road near the Syria-Iraq border. (UNHCR photo.) Below: Saskatchewan Conservative MP Kelly Block’s constituency leaflet; Ms. Block herself; Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. For several years, the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has played to the worst instincts of a significant portion of its political base […]

The post The refugee crisis: Harper Conservatives just can’t spin it both ways appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Jason Kenney sails close to the wind on Anti-Terrorism Act at picnic visit

PHOTOS: Liberal candidate Adam Vaughan’s photo of the Kurdish Peace and Cultural Festival in Toronto Saturday, with an image of PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan visible in the background. (Grabbed from Twitter.) Below: Defence Minister Jason Kenney, who bragged about being at the event, and Mr. Vaughan. Jason Kenney, who notwithstanding the dissolution of the House […]

The post Jason Kenney sails close to the wind on Anti-Terrorism Act at picnic visit appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Parchment in the Fire: Germany, not Greece, should say goodbye to the euro | Comment |

Germany, not Greece, should say goodbye to the euro | Comment |

Filed under: Eurozone crisis Tagged: Euro, European Union, Eurozone Crisis, Germany

Parchment in the Fire: Germany won’t spare Greek pain – it has an interest in breaking us | Yanis Varoufakis | Comment is free | The Guardian

Germany won’t spare Greek pain – it has an interest in breaking us | Yanis Varoufakis | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Filed under: Eurozone crisis Tagged: Austerity, Euro, Eurozone Crisis, Germany, Greece

Sketchy Thoughts: The Deep State: Germany, Immigration, and the National Socialist Underground

A weakness of large parts of the “left” opposition and the radical Left becomes apparent: after the pogroms of the early ’90s many abandoned the working class as a revolutionary force. They could therefore only turn to “civil society” and thus ultimately the state as an ally against the Nazis. This ally supported fascist structures and helped to establish them, while at the same time it gave the left-wing opposition the opportunity to turn itself into a force supportive of the state. This fact paralyses many Antifa and other leftwing groups. Instead of naming the state’s role in the NSU (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Podcast: The roots of the Greece crisis in European integration and what this means for the future


As the simmering crisis between Greece and the institutions formerly known as the Troika heats up again, it’s a good time to look once more at the roots of the European crisis and what they mean for the possibilities open before Syriza at the present juncture. Greece is being squeezed by Europe: it’s cash is about to run out, they’ve been limited from raising new funds on bond markets and are being asked for ever greater concessions in terms of the reforms. Indeed, the red lines for compromise are right under Syriza’s feet and it’s (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The Germans Get It. When Will We?

Sixty per cent of Germans believe that capitalism is the cause of poverty and hunger and that real democracy can’t be realized under that economic system.  It seems they’re not fond of market fundamentalism and neoliberalism.  In fact, they see straight through it.

You might have thought that Germans who live in Europe’s economic powerhouse would be true free market capitalists.  You would be wrong.

The survey found that more than 60 percent of Germans believe there is no genuine democracy in their country because industry has too much political influence and that the voice of the voters plays only (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Germany’s sickly economy | Europe’s World

Germany’s sickly economy | Europe’s World.

Filed under: Austerity, Eurozone crisis Tagged: Eurozone Crisis, German Economy, Germany

Parchment in the Fire: Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis Head to Head with German Counterpart Wolfgang Schauble

Filed under: Austerity, Eurozone crisis Tagged: Eurozone Crisis, Germany, Greece, Syriza

drive-by planet: Die Linke’s Sahra Wagenknecht slams Merkel in Bundestag for being US stooge [video]

In a powerful Bundestag speech, Deputy Chair of the German Die Linke (Left Party), Sahra Wagenknecht, accused Angela Merkel of being an enabler of US interests, to the detriment of Germany and the EU.

Wagenknecht called into question Merkel’s position on “spheres of influence” and international law, citing numerous instances in the course of which Merkel’s great ally the United States has trampled over international law… Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya… to name a few.

The indented excerpts beneath are from Wagenknecht’s speech. They are taken from the English translation that accompanies the video. In your speech in Sydney Ms Merkel (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Why Denmark fears militarization of Arctic islands means Canada could soon control almost all of Hudson’s Bay, and other tall tales

If we just listened to Stephen Harper and the BBC, what a wonderful world this would be! Below: Catherine the Great, USAF Gen. Philip Breedlove.

Last Wednesday, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported in shocked tones on its online news site that “NATO’s top military commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove, has warned that Russian ‘militarization’ of the annexed Crimea Peninsula could be used to exert control over the whole Black Sea.”

This story appeared almost word for word on dozens of other Internet news sites originating in Europe, North America, Australia and elsewhere in the word.

U.S. Air Force Gen. (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Some Ukrainian films at Cottbus 24 festival convey ‘a thoroughly dishonest presentation of conditions in the east’

An article in World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) – Distortion and dishonesty: Ukrainian films at the Cottbus Film Festival – critiques some of the Ukrainian films that made it to the screen at this years festival held in Cottbus. This is a city 125 kms southeast of Berlin, close to the border with Poland.

Before addressing the films he chose to critique, writer Stefan Steinberg takes the time at the beginning of the article to include an overview of conditions in Eastern Europe. He notes that while some of the films provide “insight, albeit limited, into the problems of the (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Journalist Tired of Unfree Press Pushing War

A German journalist explains how the CIA misused him to manipulate people, to push war.

“Non official cover”

Parchment in the Fire: Germany needs ‘small miracle’ to avoid recession after exports fall by 5.8% | Business | The Guardian

Germany needs ‘small miracle’ to avoid recession after exports fall by 5.8% | Business | The Guardian.


The fall in exports comes as sanctions between Russia and Europe and a flagging economy in the wider eurozone take their toll on Germany. Photograph: Frank Augstein/AP

German exports suffered the biggest monthly fall in more than five and a half years in August, leaving Europe’s largest economy in need of “a small miracle” to avoid recession in the third quarter.

Exports fell by 5.8% compared with July to €92.6bn (£72.8bn). The decrease is the latest sign of (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Five charts that show Germany is heading into recession | Business |

Five charts that show Germany is heading into recession | Business |


Germany is on brink of recession Photograph: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Germany is on the brink of recession. Recovery in Europe’s powerhouse went into reverse in the second quarter when the economy shrank by 0.2%.

All the evidence suggests the weakness persisted in the third quarter amid tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine and a flagging recovery in the eurozone economy.

Here are five charts underpinning expectations of a fresh German recession.

Germany’s trade position is deteriorating

German exports fell by 5. (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Germany Now Has Free Tuition

Germany has done something that the rest the developed world should copy: reducing post-secondary tuition fees to zero. Open and accessible education is key to making a richer and more prosperous country – Germany clearly gets this. In these modern times education is more important than ever so it’s really great to see

“We got rid of tuition fees because we do not want higher education which depends on the wealth of the parents,” Gabrielle Heinen-Kjajic, the minister for science and culture in Lower Saxony, said in a statement. Her words were echoed by many in the German government. “Tuition (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Merkel seeks Spanish support for unpopular austerity measures | In English | EL PAÍS

Merkel seeks Spanish support for unpopular austerity measures | In English | EL PAÍS.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel traveled to Spain on Sunday for a two-day trip aimed at securing Spanish support for her austerity policies, now under fire in the European Union.

In return, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is seeking Merkel’s help to place two of his officials in top European positions. Specifically, Rajoy wants former agriculture minister Miguel Arias Cañete to receive a relevant economic portfolio, and current economy minister Luis de Guindos to head the Eurogroup, or gathering of European finance chiefs.

Merkel is currently under (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: BREAKING: German TV Leaks CETA Trade Deal Text

by: Obert Madondo Follow @Obiemad | Published Wed, Aug 13, 2014

The finer details of the controversial and highly secretive Canada-EU trade deal, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), is now available to the Canadian and global publics for much-needed scrutiny.

Germany television show Tagesschau leaked the full text of the deal earlier today.

The full text is available at:

The Council of Canadians is one the leading critics of the CETA deal here in Canada. In a statement posted on the organization’s website earlier, the Council welcome the leak.

“Throughout the process, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how we should take Germany’s rightful concern over investor-state dispute settlement provisions as an opportunity to reevaluate what we expect to accomplish through trade and investment agreements such as CETA.

For further reading…- Peter Clark, Michael Geist and Scott Sinclair discuss Germany’s objections to new trade agreements with Canada and the U.S. in particular, while reminding us why we should be wary of handing undue power to the corporate sector as well. And Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder and Rhea Tamara Hoffmann discuss (PDF) Germany’s past experience with ISDS in detail.- Meanwhile, Patricia Ranald notes that (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Germany stands up for democracy

Finally, someone has said enough to the erosion of democracy brought about by “trade” agreements. From NAFTA to the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union, these agreements have eroded the power of governments in favour of investors.

International agreements are, in themselves, a very good idea, one way of imposing orderly behaviour

Alberta Diary: On the centenary of Gavrilo Princip’s fateful shot in Sarajevo, let’s learn the right lessons from history

Gavrilo Princip under arrest. Below: Princip and the Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Today is the centenary of the day Gavrilo Princip took his little Belgian pistol to Sarajevo and blew the heir presumptive to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian empire into history.

As is well known, not long after young Princip caused the demise of Franz Ferdinand, archduke of Austria-Este and royal prince of Hungary and Bohemia, not to mention inspiration for future indie musicians, things went rapidly downhill.

Someone somewhere rolled the dice to score a strategic point or two in the Balkans – one of which, it’s been (Read more…)