Alberta Diary: Alberta’s big problem is the same as Russia’s – so what’s Stephen Harper doing about it?

Keep those wells a-pumpin! Keep those oil prices low! Squeeze those Russkies! Uh … just a minute. … isn’t that bad for Alberta’s many varieties of Conservative? Below: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Mr. Harper’s hero, Margaret Thatcher. The Globe and Mail, tireless cheerleader for the Harper Government, was gloating ...

Alberta Diary: Happy Thanksgiving! Would the Tories praising our health care system please stop trying to privatize it!

Edmonton’s Misericordia Hospital waaay back in the day. Below: The modern Mis, the one in Edmonton’s west end that after 45 years is falling apart. Alberta Health Minister Stephen Mandel. Happy Thanksgiving! With a case of a “potential contagious illness” in an unidentified Edmonton hospital last night, I guess we can be thankful we have ...

Alberta Diary: Missing: Any discussion of what drove the Hancock Government’s Bill 10 attack on legally enforceable contracts

A system of contracts that can be enforced and adjudicated by an independent and disinterested court like this one is one of the key features of civilized society. This is a picture of the court used by a significant number Canadian law firms to illustrate their web pages. Actually, it’s the U.S. District Court for ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Who is driving the conservative agenda in Canada?

TweetIn America’s Forbes Magazine this week, Alejandro Chafuen praised the leadership of the conservative policy think-tanks that helped set the stage for the election of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative majority government in 2011 and the success of conservative politicians across the country. This apparatus of conservative special interest groups, think-tanks and news media has contributed to shifting ...

The Ranting Canadian: Faces of Evil This one isn’t a music video; it is chilling…

Faces of Evil This one isn’t a music video; it is chilling old footage of Margaret Thatcher having afternoon tea with her close personal friend and political ally Augusto Pinochet, the murderous quasi-fascist dictator of Chile who overthrew a democratically elected government in a bloody coup. Thatcher was an evil, evil, dirty politician, Hopefully her ...

The Ranting Canadian: In grade 9 or 10 French class, we had an assignment to write a…

In grade 9 or 10 French class, we had an assignment to write a page of text in French and accompany it with some graphics. I chose to write about the French Revolution, and for the picture, I cut out magazine photos of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Brian Mulroney and used them to represent ...

Eclectic Lip: Norquist knee-capped by Koch-backed “Shift Disturbers”

Well, it looks like Grover Norquist’s support for a carbon tax shift last Monday (Nov 12) lasted as long as a mayfly.  By the time Tuesday (Nov 13) rolled around, he was back to opposing it, and likening government to a tapeworm. I suppose it’s a brave thing to say, considering that the highly-trained, armed ...

DeSmogBlog: Vitter-Johnson FARE Act: "Shock Doctrine" Attacks On Renewable Energy

friedman_quote.jpg In her famous book The Shock Doctrine​: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, author and activist Naomi Klein quotes the Godfather of free market capitalism, Milton Friedman, whom she credits with mainstreaming the "shock doctrine." Friedman stated: "Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real changes. When the crisis occurs, the actions that ...

Politics and its Discontents: A New School Year Begins

There is no doubt in my mind that education is not what it once was. And no, this is not about to become a screed about the lowering of academic standards. Rather, it is only a recognition that like just about everything else, education has become a commodity, its value measured almost exclusively by its ...

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Jim Flaherty and the Tea Party Abandon the Arts

It was once suggested to Winston Churchill that he cut funding to the arts to pay for Britain’s war, to which he responded “Then what would we be fighting for?” A nation’s arts and culture are as important to their identity as their historic landmarks. Yet neoconservative ideology suggests otherwise. If it doesn’t make a ...

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: It’s Not About the Life Jackets Dammit

Chris Selley writes a column for the National Post this week about mandatory life jackets, coming soon to a lake near you. He brings up a story in the Toronto Star two years ago, suggesting that mandatory life jackets might not be a bad thing, given the increase in drowning victims that particular summer. But ...

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Why Friedrich Von Hayek Must be Barred From Canada

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada I realize that Friedrich Von Hayek died in 1992, but he is one of the “scholars” who helped to draft neoconservative theory. In Lawrence Martin’s book Harperland, he states that he spoke with Harper insiders about Leo Strauss, deemed the primary neoconservative theorist, and ...

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Shock Doctrined Through Think Tanks

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada I’ve been reading Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, and what I find interesting, is that American Imperialism over the past half century or so, has followed a pattern. One laid out by the Chicago school and Milton Friedman. And it was done under the ...

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Calgary School, Chicago School and the Committee on Social Thought

Canada’s neoconservative movement has been slow to reach awareness in Canada, though throughout the 1990’s, neoconservatism was a term used by many journalists and political pundits, to separate the conservatism of people like Mike Harris in Ontario, Ralph Klein in Alberta, Grant Devine in Saskatchewan and the Reform Party on the national scene; from the ...

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: On Being Shock Doctrined by the Media

While reading Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, it occurs to me that Canada, like many other nations, had become the science lab for Milton Friedman and the Chicago School. Stephen Harper’s strong connections with the Republican neoconservative movement, are not random or isolated. We fit a template, though it didn’t take a coup for the ...