Scarcely a week passes without news of a shooting stateside… seemingly random homicidal acts targeting the unsuspecting in malls, streets and schools.
American children go to school with the awareness that it isn’t just the hallway bullies they need to worry about or cyber-targeting or in some cases the lack of a decent breakfast… there is also the specter of a shooter toting a semi-automatic. The psychological impact of school shootings will have untold effects on children raised in the shadow of the new bogeyman, who like Slender Man and Batman is as American as McDonalds and Disney World.
New (Read more…)
Coal is one of the worst sources for energy given that its contribution to destruction of our planet is unmatched. There have been attempts to make coal branded as “clean coal” but even then, the radiation emitted from coal power plants is too high and the pollutants released into the air is still too much.
President Obama has decided to transition America’s power supply system away from coal and to better, cleaner alternatives. This is a good step in stemming the amount of pollution the country dumps into the air. Let’s hope that there is more money into sustainable power (Read more…)
Well as you know Stephen Harper has been duelling with the voices in his head. Seeing enemies everywhere, and losing track of what century he's living in.Two days ago he was channelling Margaret Thatcher, fighting the Cold War all over again.Challenging Vladimir Putin to knock down the Berlin Wall, and surrender the ethnic vote. Or ELSE !#@!!!!. And today he tried to go after Obama only to get clobbered. Or impaled on his own petard. Read more »
An interesting ethical debate is taking place. FirstLook Media, the controversial and adversarial media outlet owned by PayPal’s inventor, has withheld the name of the 5th country the NSA collects recordings of all phone calls from. SOMALGET and MYSTIC are Top Secret programs revealed by the Snowden leaks from the NSA. Following on the earth shaking revelations of last year starting with the “metadata” gathering in the US called PRISM, MYSTIC is again changing Americans’ views of what their spy agencies are actually working toward.
Wikileaks might cause a shitstorm this week if/when they reveal what country's communications the US (Read more…)
“If you were a betting man (or woman) what odds would you place on President Obama approving the Keystone XL pipeline before the end of his term and why?”
Ms Soapbox posed the question to a panel* discussing the future of Alberta’s energy industry. The panelists, bless their hearts, didn’t leave the stage en masse…partly because Ms Soapbox was the moderator and had control of the agenda.
Instead this group of economists, politicians, academics and businessmen pegged the odds between 25% to 80%; with a higher chance of approval based on Mr Obama holding off on a decision until (Read more…)
Putin’s Push: Reality versus Rhetoric
Congratulations to Thomas Graham, a senior fellow at the Jackson Institute, who was the senior director for Russia on the US National Security Council staff 2004-2007. He has shrewdly analyzed the Russian push under Putin, in its historical context, and outlined the steps that the West has to take to deal with Putin. Visa denials and economic sanctions, while nice sound bytes, are pretty meaningless. His views:
The way to stymie Russian expansion is not by denying visas and freezing assets of Russian officials and their business associates, the West’s current approach. Nor will (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Ukraine: Some Commensense on Dealing with Russia
Foreign Minister Lavrov – the man with the answer
Within a week or so the outlines of a solution to the Ukraine predicament will become clear to all. As I expected (and hoped), wiser heads have come up with a workable formula. The Russians are leading the way, with Obama ready to follow. At tomorrow’s meeting between Secretary of State Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, the Russians will table the solution: “We are bringing our approaches closer together,” Mr. Lavrov said. “My last meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in The Hague and my (Read more…)
Today President Obama said America’s invasion of Iraq is nothing compared to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Coffin makers agree.
In 2003 the United States invaded Iraq, a stable country, claiming Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said the US invasion was illegal and it was soon determined that Iraq had no such weapons. In 2005 Iraq held elections while the war was still being waged and American troops occupied the country. By 2013 the Iraq war had killed over 100,000 people, with at least 60,000 (lowest estimate) of those being innocent civilians.
In (Read more…)
Kinsella is right that Obama has broken hearts.
The precise moment at which Barack Obama broke many progressive hearts, however, is just as easy to ascertain: it came in June of last year, when it was revealed that the U.S. government – aided and abetted by the “Five Eyes,” the governments of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – were literally spying on millions of their own citizens. So, will my former champion, Barack Obama, read this column, and its earnest plea for our constitutions to be worth the paper they are written on?
No need. The (Read more…)
Hillary Rodham Clinton was in Calgary last week to give the keynote address at a breakfast meeting of 2500 Calgarians who paid about $500 to hear her speak. Luckily my friend, the Zen Banker, invited me to attend as her guest.
Hillary is like the Chloe Diamond—brilliant, mesmerizing, multifaceted and years in the making. Agree with her or not, it’s critical that Canadians understand how the woman who may become the 45th president of the United States views the world and our little part in it.
Here are the highlights:
Energy is the key: Energy is at (Read more…)
This week US president Obama raised concerns about Russian involvement in Crimea. He said he is “deeply disturbed” by the Russian move and that “Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing.” He made reference to “costs” facing Russia for its “military intervention” – adding to warnings coming from other quarters.
It’s unsettling to listen as Obama piously evokes “sovereignty” and “territorial integrity” given the American hand in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
The US is in a class of its own when it comes riding roughshod over other nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity… US (Read more…)
If the United States cannot come up with one scenario in which it would return American troops to Afghanistan in large numbers, it should fold its tent and leave by the end of the year. Put another way, what does the U.S. think it can achieve in Afghanistan with a meagre force of 3,000 soldiers when it accomplished next to nothing over more than a decade with 112,000 ISAF troops and another 60,000 American soldiers?
Karzai, even though he’s on his way out, isn’t playing ball with the Americans, refusing to conclude a new bilateral security agreement (BSA). (Read more…)
“He Didn’t Hear a Word I Said.”
After their private tete-a-tete in Mexico, the president of the United States and the prime minister of Canada each released summaries of their discussion. When it comes to climate change you might, on reading the summaries, think they weren’t even in the same room.
Let’s begin with the more credible of the two, Barack Obama. The president reports that he discussed climate change with Canada’s prime minister and urged Canada to get on the same page with America to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
“I said previously that how Keystone impacted (Read more…)
Well I think it's safe to say that Stephen Harper's Great Tiny Tour of Mexico is shaping up to be the most pathetic foreign trip ever by a Canadian Prime Minister.For one thing the Three Amigos aren't the Three Amigos anymore, not when the two others hate him.And he has so little to offer or receive, that he has been forced to resort to desperate measures to occupy his time.Like hastily organizing his own mini summit with Big Oil.Read more »
The president’s gone, Mr. Harper. You can come out now.
Give the man his due, Stephen Harper towers over every other prime minister before him in how he has managed to embarrass himself, the office of prime minister and the country he supposedly represents on the world stage.
He was told, well in advance, not to push his luck by pressing Obama over the Keystone XL pipeline at the North American leaders’ summit in Mexico. American officials were crystal clear on that, a plain warning to Harper not to make an ass of himself.
Undeterred by those warnings, (Read more…)
Stephen Harper apparently didn’t get the message that Obama doesn’t want to be pestered about the Keystone XL pipeline. U.S. officials in advance of the North American leaders summit in Mexico went out of their way to make it clear that Harper should back off.
So, what did Stevie do? He attended a meeting with officials of TransCanada to get briefed on what they expect him to tell and ask Obama about Keystone XL.
Well as you know he's been putting pressure on the Obama administration to approve his Keystone XL pipeline.And so have his Republican buddies. Republican leaders in Congress are planning a legislative offensive to force the White House’s hand on the Keystone XL pipeline decision if the Obama administration does not declare its support for the project in the coming weeks. Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, said Republicans are considering attaching a Keystone decision to a new law to raise the debt ceiling, which may be needed by the end of February for the U.S. to (Read more…)
I’d wondered why the USA wasn’t chasing after draft dodgers still.
On this day in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter granted an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men… fb.me/2Zrr46qpA— Christina Cherneskey (@ccherneskey) January 21, 2014
My respect for Carter went up when I learned this.
Obama could redeem some of his failing popularity if he stood up to the NSA spy machine and pardoned Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, among other whistle blowers of illegal American spying programs aimed at American citizens.
Over 125,000 people – including tens of thousands of Canadians – have now spoken out about the damaging Internet censorship proposals in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). We know from leaked drafts all about how the TPP would make your Internet more expensive, censored, and policed.
Now, our friends in Australia are sounding the alarm about how the TPP could wreak havoc on Canada’s economy. Australians know well the economic damage that unbalanced and extreme Internet censorship rules can cause. Australia was forced to adopt extreme copyright rules as part of the Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) – rules which (Read more…)
German leader flat out states that Obama’s government is little better than the East German Stasi.
“In an angry exchange with Barack Obama, Angela Merkel has compared the snooping practices of the US with those of the Stasi, the ubiquitous and all-powerful secret police of the communist dictatorship in East Germany, where she grew up.
The German chancellor also told the US president that America’s National Security Agency cannot be trusted because of the volume of material it had allowed to leak to the whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to the New York Times.
Livid after learning from Der Spiegel magazine (Read more…)
Raúl Castro at Mandela memorial service / Nelson Mandela with Fidel in Cuba
At the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, the media seized on the handshake between Barack Obama and the president of Cuba, Raúl Castro, as possible evidence of something more significant afoot in the relations between the two countries. The handshake has taken on symbolic overtones and given rise to far-fetched speculation. There have been predictable denunciations. U.S. Republican rep lleana Ros-Lehtinen criticized Obama for shaking the hand of “a ruthless dictator.” Yet another case of an American politician failing to look in the mirror (Read more…)
Canadian Banks To Be Compelled To Share Clients’ Info With U.S.
CBC | Posted: 11/25/2013 5:00 am EST
As a happily ex-Yank who gladly and gratefully accepted citizenship in this far superior (in every way) country, Canada, many decades ago, I would personally like to point out to the Yanks that Canada can’t even seem to chase after it’s own tax dodgers in the Caribbean, etc, never mind worry about those who you deem responsible for this act. Although I will never be accused of being rich enough to get chased down by anyone, threatening your biggest trading partner with (Read more…)
It’s very important to Canada’s economy that we send a resource (we can’t use without killing the planet) to Communist China so their economy can continue to pollute at record pace as they ship unneeded goods to the United States and Canada so we can bury them in our landfills when we aren’t burning them to create electricity to power our other throw-away devices.
I’ve predicted for a year or so that the power brokers in Ottawa will soon sense that Harper isn’t their meal ticket any longer and jump bandwagons to Trudeau because they are not (Read more…)