I had planned this to be my first piece post-holiday, but Nelson Mandela’s passing yesterday prompted my post about that giant who walked among us. I purposely kept it brief, since thousands upon thousands of words will be written about him in the days to come, a testament not only to his stature throughout the world but also, I suspect, to the rarity of such dignity, integrity, and moral greatness.
On to other matters.
One of the advantages to a week-long sojourn in Cuba, from which we returned late Wednesday night, is the fact that the Internet there is both (Read more…)
Having spent yesterday recovering from the temporal vicissitudes imposed by trans-Atlantic travel, my first post back will be brief and on one of my favorite subjects, The Man Who Would Be King, a.k.a. Dear Leader, the ersatz head of a country whose government, thanks to his contemptuous and heavy-hand ministrations, is at least as democratically dysfunctional as the one I just visited, Italy.
While away, I read about his office’s attempt to ban CTV cameraman Dave Ellis from boarding Herr Harper’s plane leaving for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for daring to try to pose a question to the Exulted (Read more…)
If you are under the impression that our Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows for freedom of expression, please be aware there are apparently severe restrictions on that freedom should you try to express yourself on public property in the vicinity of Prime Minister’s residence; perhaps Mr. Harper invoked the notwithstanding clause?
Women told they need a permit for their sign
H/t Occupy Canada Recommend this Post
I just got back into town and heard the news. I have a simple message for our gutless ‘Prime Minister’:
Recommend this Post
Reflecting upon a recent visit to Berlin, Toronto Star columnist Edward Greenspon had this to say:
I was particularly struck by the lessons to be drawn from 1933 and 1934, when the Nazis were not yet at full swagger. Arguably, as the depths of their hatreds quickly surfaced, they could have been tripped up by foreign pressures and a modicum of domestic spine. But elite opinion and statecraft took the passive course of hoping the accidental chancellor would fall to his own excesses. When he didn’t, foreign powers sought to mollify rather than confront him.
He goes on to write:
Are they right or wrong? You decide.
You can read the full story here. Recommend this Post
Some days, all I have to do is open my newspaper for my blog post. Today is one of those days. Enjoy.
Harper kept public in dark, July 6
When the stuff hits the fan, “plausible deniability” allows politicians to say, “I didn’t know; no-one told me.” This is what our Prime Minister would have us believe about Mike Duffy’s bailout with Nigel Wright’s cheque.
But now we hear from the RCMP that at least three others in his office, besides Wright, knew about it. This contradicts the Prime Minister’s claim that it was all Wright’s doing.
By all (Read more…)
H/t The Toronto Star
* Hamlet – Act 3 Scene 1 – Apologies for the use of literary arcana, but you know what they say: Teachers never retire; they just lose their class. Recommend this Post
Having owned a magnificent Landseer Newfoundland dog in the past (the most human pet I ever came into contact with), I am well-aware of the importance of rewarding good behaviour. For example, if you ask him/her to shake hands, you toss your pet a treat. Rolling over, ‘speaking’, etc. all call for positive reinforcement.
I awoke this morning wondering what would be a lovely gift for those pets in the Harper government who, throughout the last parliamentary session, spoke faithfully in their master’s voice. While the list is long, and perhaps others will be the subject of future posts, I (Read more…)
Many years ago I read a novel by Jimmy Breslin called The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, which dealt with profound ineptitude within a certain New York mafia family. It would seem a worthwile novel to revisit, now that there is a real-life gang operating in Ottawa that seems to have caught the incompetence bug. Once known as a tightly-focussed and disciplined cabal answering to a ‘Mr. Big’ at the top of the organization, the group has lately veered into a series of farcical errors that have substantially eroded its ‘street-cred’ and caused considerable restlessness amongst rank-and-file members.
You (Read more…)
Like the morally bankrupt coward that he is, our Prime Prevaricator, Stephen Harper, recently made another ham-fisted attempt to discredit Justin Trudeau (a man, by the way, who does not especially impress me.) Given his general contempt for the intelligence of the majority of Canadians, it probably seemed like a good idea at the time to have his office ‘leak’ the story of a money-losing speaking engagement by Trudeau at Georgian College.
The information, offered on the condition that the PMO not be identified as the source, backfired on the increasingly desperate Conservatives, as you will see below. The (Read more…)
Does anyone remember this gem from 2011 when Mr. Harper essentially said that parliamentary democracy is of absolutely no consequence?
H/t Citizens Rallying To Unseat Harper Recommend this Post
David Suzuki has a thought-provoking essay in today’s Globe and Mail that also serves as an excellent precis of some of the things the Harper government would like us to forget, including its promotion of ignorance/contempt for factual data, its demonization of environmentalists, it arrant hypocrisy, and its general contempt for voices that express disagreement with its ideology.
I hope you will read it and disseminate it widely; constant reminders of this cabal’s war on democracy and informed discussion will be, I think, crucial, if we are to have a chance of ousting it in 2015.
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And it is not difficult to figure out who is pulling his strings. Recommend this Post
I see that Shelley Glover, the Conservative M.P. for St. Boniface riding, is in a spot of trouble. It seems that the lady who practically levitates out of her House of Commons seat to lead a standing ovation each time her dear leader deigns to speak could be suspended from that seat should Elections Canada have its way.
Somewhat reminiscent of the campaign irregularities that forced the resignation of Peter Penashue and later led to his defeat in a byelection, Glover, along with fellow traveller James Bezan, the Conservative MP for Selkirk-Interlake, failed to file campaign documents from the (Read more…)
Is it possible that at the start of their political careers, Stephen Harper and Rob Ford consulted with Cornelius Grouppe for campaign advice and recruitment methodology?
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Oh, this idea I like very much. And the tactic is easily adaptable in situations that could best be described as ‘fluid’:
H/t Sylvia Wilson Canadians Rallying To Unseat Stephen Harper Recommend this Post
I trust these pictorial efforts speak for themselves:
H/t Piper McKinnon – Canadians Rallying To Unseat Stephen Harper
H/t The Toronto Star Recommend this Post
This raw video from this morning’s efforts at damage control says all there needs to be said about Harper and accountability:
Recommend this Post
These Star readers, whether you agree with them or not, have some interesting perspectives to offer:
Re: Growing disconnect between Canadians and Parliament, May 2
Democracy is just a mirage, Letter May 5
Al Dunn is essentially correct in his characterization of democracy as it is generally practised today. But the fact that democracy is clearly the ultimate bait-and-switch trick pulled on us by the elites — keeping up the illusion of a fair say whilst actually holding us at arm’s length from the levers that could operate our share of the balance of power — doesn’t mean there (Read more…)
We all remember the abortive attempts by Kevin Page, Parliamentary Budget Officer, to find out specifically how federal budget cuts were going to affect programs. The Harper regime was of the view that such detailed information wasn’t to be shared, despite the pesky expectations that a putative open democracy tends to foster among its citizens. Essentially, the answer we were given was, “just trust us.”
A detailed analysis of recently released spending reports conducted by the Globe and Mail suggests two things: thanks to cuts in the budget of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency we can trust the
. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Just Trust Us
There is an excellent piece in this morning’s Star by outgoing Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page. In it, he talks about how his son’s death was the catalyst for his abandoning a natural desire for job security and his subsequent pursuit of the job which has incurred so much Harper wrath while at the same time endearing him to millions of Canadians. Unfortunately, the piece seems to be only in the print edition, but should it become available online, I will provide a link.
At the end of his article, Page urges all of us to write to our M.
. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Some Inspiration From Kevin Page
The other day I wrote a post about the Harper regime’s ongoing efforts and measures designed to thwart government transparency; the Prime Minister’s abuse of power is most flagrant in his suppression of the voice of science, thereby effectively denying information vital if citizens are to have any hope of evaluating government policy. Unfortunately, in a regime driven by ideology, as Harper’s is, the end justifies the means, no matter how much those means might violate the basic underlying principles of democratic government.
I am taking the liberty of reproducing the editorial appearing in today’s Star that rebukes the regime
. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: More On Harper’s Censorship of Science
He who controls the media controls the minds of the public. – Noam Chomsky
In some ways, it is very much reminiscent of what occurred during the time of the Soviet Union, when athletic or cultural figures would visit the West, always accompanied by ‘escorts’ whose ostensible purpose was to act as facilitators and translators, but whose real purpose was to keep a very close eye on their fellow citizens lest they bolt for freedom or say something ‘unscripted’, thereby causing the homeland some embarrassment. Control of information was paramount.
And ironclad control would seem to be both the guiding
. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Quasi-Police State In Our Midst