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The Cracked Crystal Ball II: No, It’s Not "Short Sighted"

I’ve seen stories popping up recently where Justin Trudeau is being criticized for refusing to engage with Sun Media.   The issue is that Sun Media has allowed people like Levant to run amok.  Of course, they’re going to play the taunting card.  What Levant’s tirade demonstrated was that Sun Media is acting as a mouth organ for the PMO.   From the Liberal party’s perspective, why would they engage with a group who is so obviously biased, and will no doubt take anything that Trudeau says before their cameras and splice it into something entirely different?   If Sun (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: You’re Paying for Those Pot Holes Whether They’re Fixed or Not

It’s no secret that essential infrastructure in North America is in a bad way. Neglect driven by tax cutting has led to deterioration in everything from roadways to overpasses, bridges, sewers and water mains.  The end result is essential infrastructure in immediate need of repair and replacement.

An illustration of the problem comes from a forced retreat of the “just in time” manufacturing sector.

Companies like Whirlpool and Caterpillar are making costly additions to their otherwise sinewy supply chains to compensate for aging U.S. roads that are too potholed and congested for “just in time” delivery. Some (Read more…)

The Right-Wing Observer: Our Conservative Speaker and the Protection of Democracy

Andrew Scheer says he has to stick to past practice in executing his role as the allegedly un-biased Speaker of the House of Commons. It is not his role to police the quality of questions and answers, unless the House asks him to do so. And apparently, despite Thomas Mulcair’s numerous attempts to do so, the House has not asked.

And with that, Mr. Scheer and his Conservative ilk have suddenly become the protectors of Canadian democracy. By not “rocking the boat”, they ensure that practices which have developed over decades continue to function as they were intended to. Because (Read more…)

Left Over: Back Door Justice on a Friday Afternoon….

NDP forces Commons debate on murdered, missing indigenous women Conservative-controlled committee didn’t recommend public inquiry but NDP seized debate opportunity

By Kady O’Malley, CBC News Posted: Sep 19, 2014 2:44 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 19, 2014 5:12 PM ET

http://montrealsimon.blogspot.ca/2014/09/the-ndp-forces-debate-on-missing-and.html

Ffinally, the NDP comes through in a wonderfully calculated move that both highlighted the need for a public inquiry, and beat the Cons at their own game..timing is everything.

Anyone who thinks that the NDP isn’t ready for Prime Time better think again…

Probably your best blog to date, Simon..I feel exactly as you do.. (Read more…)

Left Over: The Emperor’s (ap)Prentice Magically Transforms First Nations Support

Jim Prentice says many Alberta First Nations are behind new pipeline projects ‘Amongst the strongest allies that Alberta has at the table are the First Nations of this province’

CBC News Posted: Sep 16, 2014 9:25 PM MT Last Updated: Sep 17, 2014 6:20 AM MT

 

Great that you have First Nations behind the Cons and Chinese in Alberta (I don’t believe it, but whatever…) Another reason to keep all that filthy bitumen in-Province..why not build a refinery right there, on a supportive rez? Still think you’d have First Nations support?

“Art Sterritt, executive director of British Columbia’s (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Will Mike Duffy Call the Next Election?

Sure, it sounds far fetched, but the opposition parties had better be prepared for Harper to call a snap election.

Word I’m getting from Ottawa is that the evidence in the Duffy trial will directly implicate the prime minister in the under-the-table payment/bribery scheme.  If that happens, Stephen Harper’s political career is essentially over.

Duffy is pushing for an early trial date, the sooner the better.  Given his circumstances – the cost, two open-heart surgeries, stress – he’s apt to get a receptive response from the court.

From Harper’s perspective the Duffy trial is a matter of optics and, for (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Texas Brainwashing Youth

Well I guess North Korea doesn’t have a monopoly on this any more.

The great state of Texas wants to implant lies in the minds of its youngsters.

Texas has proposed re-writing school text books to incorporate passages denying the existence of climate change and promoting the discredited views of an ultra-conservative think tank.

The proposed text books …were already attracting criticism when it emerged that the science section had been altered to reflect the doctrine of the Heartland Institute, which has been funded by the Koch oil billionaires.

In the proposed 6th grade texts, students were introduced to global (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Amazing Discovery

Have you heard about the amazing discovery the Harper Government is responsible for?

No, not the Franklin Expedition which remained known to the Inuit for almost 200 years through oral history, I’m talking about the discovery in Ottawa that the federal government isn’t maintaining important national landmarks related to science.

Scott's DiaTribes: Harper / PMO: “The Inuit knew about the Franklin ships? Who knew?”

APTN demonstrates how low a priority First Nations relations are with the Harper government at the moment:

The Franklin expedition ship found by researchers on the Arctic seabed has a detailed and colourful history within Inuit oral tradition, yet the Inuit garnered only one 17-word sentence among the press releases and backgrounders released by the Prime Minister’s Office at the time after Tuesday’s announced discovery…the general public wouldn’t know about the key role Inuit oral history played in the selection of the search area by reading the information posted on the PMO’s website. There, the role of the Inuit in (Read more…)

Left Over: Desperate Times Call for Desperate Opinion Pieces…

OPINION

Justin Trudeau may be the next big thing – but Stephen Harper’s still Nickelback Politics, like music, is about sound and vision. What will voters want to hear in 2015?

By Andrew MacDougall, for CBC News Posted: Sep 07, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 07, 2014 5:31 AM ET

 

How did we guess that MacDougall was a former paid Harper hack – and using Nickleback as a metaphor for the Cons is about as perfect as it gets..they both truly suck..and what has Nickleback done lately? As for Trudeau, to act as if he is (Read more…)

Trashy's World: Harper’s politics of cynicism….

… and an empty shelf in the pantry where “ethics” used to be… Wandering around the Interweb, I found this cutting piece that brilliantly sums up the CPC modus operandi as follows: The Harper Government is a public relations oriented government. The machine seems to operate in the following manner; get the youngsters in the […]

The Disaffected Lib: Mr. Prime Minister, One of These Is Almost Exactly Like the Other

- Steve Bell, The Guardian

The Disaffected Lib: London Has Denounced It. So Has Washington. Why the Complicit Silence from Canada?

Israel has just taken another massive bite out of the Palestinian West Bank homeland.  Britain has condemned the land grab, so has Washington.

As for Canada, “what land grab?”  As Harper reminds us, we don’t practice sociology.  It took Mulcair and Trudeau to demonstrate that we don’t do integrity either, not when we’re suckholing for votes.

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Institutional Racism In Conservative Ideology

This post has been evolving for quite a long time.  However, in the last few days, a series of pieces have been published which bring together several threads of thought that I have been exploring for the last several years.  

There has long been a degree of bigotry and racism underlying modern day conservative ideologies.  At a glance, it appears to have its roots in the politics of religious literalism and the desire for simple, black-and-white explanations of the world in which we live.  My thinking on this matter has clarified enormously in the last few days.

The first (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: And a Happy Labour Day Weekend to You, Mr. Harper

The Times Colonist got the Labour Day weekend off to an early start with two op-eds this morning.  Both of them concerned our prime minister, Stephen J. Harper.

Mike Robinson provided a piece exploring Harper’s performance as Canada’s CEO.  Robinson, who has spent 28-years as CEO of various science and cultural NGOs, concludes that Harper’s executive tenure has been a flop.

…in Canada, say the last eight years, corporate dominance has so overshadowed our federal political scene that many question the independence of thought in the Conservative party, and especially the Prime Minister’s Office. On economic policy and foreign affairs (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: To Inquire, or Not To Inquire, Don’t Ask The Question

The latest Coyne article seems to be self defeating in its thesis.

“It’s not evident what contribution another public inquiry would make,” opines Coyne.

For one thing, we could have an inquiry to demonstrate that for Coyne. Or we could for once listen to what First Nations people want out of the Canadian government, rather than what a mainstream newspaper columnist in Toronto wants for First Nations people. The act of the federal government doing what First Nations want over what white people in Ontario want, would be a step in the right direction to healing some of the rifts (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Teach Your Children Well

They’re already facing some serious challenges coming their way before all that long, let’s teach them the difference between absurdity and reality, the gift of critical thinking.  That’s been heavily drummed out of us these past two or more decades and it shows in the mess we’ve created during that interval.

Dan Arel, in his book “Parenting without God,”  argues that, in a society “ruled by absurd religion and other dogma,” critical thinking is more important than ever.

One important thing to teach our children is how to think critically. It is easy to tell them they (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The Double Bind of Climate Change

I’m still hopeful that we will see a workable, international agreement on climate change in 2015 but why does that have to feel like a pensive Charlie Brown with Lucy holding the football?  And why does Lucy remind me of Stephen Harper?

A new research study from Norway’s Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in conjunction with Statistics Norway (a Scandinavian StatsCan), concludes that the chances of getting an effective agreement are slim.  The study concludes that the measures likely to get political agreement would be ineffective while an agreement that could produce results would be “politically unviable. (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: It’s Not That We Disagree, It’s That I Despise Your Ideas

When ever I read another article and view another series of photographs of the carnage Israel has inflicted on the civilian population of Gaza and then think of the Netanyahu apologists, Trudeau and Mulcair, I despise them and any party that would tolerate much less follow their views.  That these two greasy opportunists haven’t been tossed to the street for their blatant pandering tells me all I need to know about the Liberal Party and the New Democrats. 

Our general election is less than a year away, possibly much sooner if Harper sees a window of opportunity in which to (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Could Harper Deploy Troops Against Canadians?

I was taken aback by a post from Geoff Kennedy at Parchment in the Fire entitled, “EU Advisors Advocate use of Military Against Strikes and Protests | Global Research.”

The thrust of this report is that military forces should be employed to defend the interests of the extremely wealthy from unrest among the masses.  The key author was professor Tomas Ries, currently with the Swedish Institute for International Affairs.  Geoff writes:

Ries sees the central threat to “security” in a violent “conflict between unequal socioeconomic classes in global society,” which were “in vertical asymmetric tensions in the global (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Harper’s War on Charities is a War on All of Us

Never underestimate the scope and impact of the Harper regime’s war to gag our charities. Oxford student and 2013 Rhodes Scholar, Joanne Cave writes in today’s Times Colonist that the use of the CRA cudgel to silence charities by Harper & Co.is just the tip of the iceberg.

The recent Canada Revenue Agency crackdown on everyone from Pen Canada to Oxfam — noting, quite appallingly, that “preventing poverty” isn’t an appropriate charitable aim after all — has Canada’s charitable sector wondering: When is enough, enough?And if you think the issues facing charities aren’t relevant to your life, think (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Harper’s Gambit

With his numbers sinking in the most recent polls, Harper appears to be moving to bring out his rear guard actions to sustain his grip on power.

There are several pieces to this discussion:

(1)  Foreign Affairs

Between fomenting a shooting war with Russia in the Ukraine,  a stance on Israel that’s about as nuanced as an angry rhinoceros, and taking explicit sides in the ongoing collapse of Iraq and Syria, anyone would think that Harper was trying to drag Canada into a war.

Make no mistake about it, that is one of the cards that Harper (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: When Confidence Fails

Few who lived through the Cold War with its constant threat of nuclear annihilation realize the role confidence played in preventing an outbreak of apocalyptic hostilities.  Even at times when we thought the “other side” might be nearing the point of pre-emptive attack, we had a sufficient degree of confidence that they would do no such thing.  The Red Telephone that connected the White House to the Kremlin was specifically intended as an instrument for maintaining confidence.

The Cuban missile crisis demonstrated the leadership needed to maintain confidence – and peace – in stressful circumstances.  Kennedy was being pulled by (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Another Indictment of Neoliberalism, This Time from Monbiot

Neoliberalism, sometimes known as “market fundamentalism”, is the scourge of our age.  It infests our federal politics.  Stephen Harper is a disciple.  Mulcair and Trudeau may be somewhat less neoliberal but it’s a matter of degree and it ain’t much.

Neoliberalism is a path littered with flawed assumptions and empty promises.  It is a cancer that eats away at social cohesion, that drives inequality that itself arises mainly out of privilege and unjust government largesse from tax favouritism to outright gifting of public property.  It is the engine of economic feudalism.

Guardian columnist, George Monbiot, has additional insights into the (Read more…)

The Liberal Scarf: "Limiting information" on oilsands probe demonstrates Harper government problems with both openness and the environment

This story out of The Star hits at two major problems of the Harper government – an inability to take environmental concerns seriously, and a desire to limit access to critical information by the media and citizens.

“Environment Canada’s enforcement branch asked a spokesman to “limit information” given to reporters about how long it took to launch a federal investigation into a serious Alberta oilsands leak last summer. The comments were included in more than 100 pages of emails obtained by the Star that were generated in response to questions from journalists last summer about the mysterious leak in (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Liberal Scarf: "Limiting information" on oilsands probe demonstrates Harper government problems with both openness and the environment