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The Common Sense Canadian: Suzuki: Bill C-51 could treat fossil fuel critics like terrorists

84 year-old retried librarian Barbara Grant getting arrested at Burnaby Mountain (facebook)

A scientist, or any knowledgeable person, will tell you climate change is a serious threat for Canada and the world. But the RCMP has a different take. A secret report by the national police force, obtained by Greenpeace, both minimizes the threat of global warming and conjures a spectre of threats posed by people who rightly call for sanity in dealing with problems caused by burning fossil fuels.

Anti-terrorism bill threatens free speech

The RCMP report has come to light as federal politicians debate the “anti-terrorism” Bill C-51. Although (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Premier Wall Takes Potshot at First Nations Leaders’ Pay #skpoli

.@TDellerCBC I'd have to agree with the FSIN leader that @PremierBradWall took a pot shot at leaders' pay, rather than offering to help.

— John Klein (@JohnKleinRegina) March 4, 2015

The Premier said:

“It underscores the need for leadership at the local level, including — and let’s be clear — including on the part of chiefs and council,” he said.

“We also saw a report on the fact that chiefs and council in this province and right across the country get paid, as they should, for their services and some of them get paid a lot. You know, (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Under the Dome: A Documentary on China’s Pollution

The Chinese documentary Under the Dome (I can’t find english subtitles, sorry) has taken China by storm. The documentary was released on last week and is already changing the conversation about pollution in the country. This could mark a massive change in how China enforces their pollution laws and improves how they treat nature.

Chai Jing’s documentary was released on 28 February, less than a week before China’s annual parliamentary session begins. China’s central government is expected to pass an ambitious new law that hopes to impose tough new regulations on China’s coal-burning polluters. But in China, passing a law (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Hilldog16 on SnapChat?

I have a Snapchat account. I’ve not used it in years because it was making my cell phone too full. Imagine if Hillary Clinton had a Snapchat account too, for government business? Her’s would be used for an illegal purpose, like her personal email was. You may recall Sarah Palin got into trouble (without apparent consequence) for this sort of thing too.

“Just message me on SnapChat, I’m hilldog16” – http://t.co/SiSKK4WvOu

— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) March 3, 2015

Hillary Clinton exclusively used private email while secretary of state http://t.co/TMMZ2fpqIk pic.twitter.com/Mb3os4dB1b

— Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) March 3, 2015

Trashy's World: Essential job requirements to be a CPC or OPC Minister…

1. Publicly state that evolution should not be taught in schools… Check 2. Tweet to the world that evolution should not be considered a “fact”. Check  3. Make slanderdous and way-over-top statements about Ontario’s school cirriculum Check Yup. And add in the: – mandatory climate-change denying blathering; – Jenny McCarthy anti-vax fan club membership, […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: How Marx Presaged Today’s Canada

“The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country,” wrote Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels, in 1848, in the Communist Manifesto. I came across this paragraph in Prof. David Harvey‘s book, A Companion to Marx’s Capital, recently and the quote from the Communist […]

Cowichan Conversations: Edward Snowden and His Ideological Allies Are Winning

Richard Hughes- Political Blogger

The War on Ideas is losing ground. This was clearly demonstrated through two clashing films recently. American Sniper and Citizen Four.

They could not be more opposite and yet they were both declared Oscar winners

The War on Ideas is winning over public support in spite of the immense efforts made to demonize heroes like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

Julian Assange

While polarization is increasing much of that is because citizens are recognizing the dangerous lurch to the extreme right, especially here in Canada.

Canada’s Prime Minister Steve Harper with his extreme dominionist religious views has driven (Read more…)

Terahertz: Republished: The Christians are coming!

Another old article, this one a review of Marci McDonald’s 2010 expose on the influence of the Christian Right in Canadian politics. Still relevant given that Harper has since gained his majority government and faces another election in October.

The Christians are coming!

Originally published in The Peak, 31st May 2010

He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him, And His enemies will lick the dust.

Psalm 72: 8-9

From this passage, Marci McDonald begins her argument in The (Read more…)

Terahertz: Republished: Let’s bring reason back to politics

As part of my attempt to get back into writing this blog, I’ve been going back through my list of published articles and making sure they’re all still live. Many of the links have changed in the years since I wrote many of those articles, but luckily I copied most to this blog. A few were missed, so here is one of the first republished articles.

Some context: In late 2010 while living in Vancouver, I met a few times with a number of friends in the skeptics community to discuss the need for greater evidence-based politics. Our (somewhat) naive (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: And Now, For the TFSA Switch!

Following up my blog post of 4 years ago about Harper’s tax break for the wealthy are stories on CBC and elsewhere regarding the TFSA folly. The increase benefits only ~39% of Canadians who’ve managed to open such a savings account.

“Harper pledges to double tax-free savings limits – but not till deficit is beat” And you have to give him credit, he’s going to be right. Because he won’t be in office when the deficit is beat, a Conservative government doesn’t know how to go out of deficit (history shows they only go into them).

“TFSA limit could (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: More Debates, Not Fewer Debaters

The unethical fools at the Broadcast Consortium will probably gladly keep Elizabeth May away from the debates this year too. Especially amusing is the Conservative spokes-tool saying more participants would make it a gong show. Mulcair wanting a debate focused on women, while angling to keep the only female leader out of the room, is special too.

What’s wrong with the Star and Robert Benzie to write an article about debate controversy and not even mention the Consortium considering blocking the Green Party again because they got away with it last election?

Why would it be up to the Conservatives (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Canada’s Trans* Rights Bill Now Endorses Bans in Washroom and Gendered Spaces

Canada’s trans* human rights bill C-279 was amended by a Senate committee, in a way that makes it legal to ban trans* people from washrooms and gendered spaces appropriate to their gender identity.

Sen. Donald Plett, Conservative member of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, added a legal exemption for “any service, facility, accommodation or premises that is restricted to one sex only, such as a correctional facility, crisis counseling facility, shelter for victims of abuse, washroom facility, shower facility or clothing changing room.” The amendment passed with six of the committee members supporting it, four opposed, (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: What’s Wrong with Municipal Bonusing?

Until the early 1970s, municipalities in Ontario were involved in a free-for-all competition to attract business and industry. They offered tax breaks, free land, free infrastructure, utilities or services, housing — whatever it took to get a plant or office to open within their boundaries. A lot of small Ontario communities were able to attract […]

Politics Canada: Reducing freedom and liberty hands the make-believe terrorists victory

That sound you hear is every single brave man and woman who fought to keep Canada free rolling in their graves.

Stephen Harper’s “Anti-terrorism” bill is an assault on the freedom of Canadians, it is an assault on the rights of Canadians and would be unacceptable to all of the brave Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice so we can be free.

Reducing our freedom and civil rights is giving in to the hypothetical terrorists because let’s face it this bill has been created to fight make believe terrorists, terrorists that do not exist.

Politics Canada: Who doubts Harper’s terrorism bill to be used on his political enemies?

When we look at Harper’s horrible shoddy and dangerous “anti-terrorism” bill it causes a sickening deep in the stomach to think of this government with this kind of power at their fingertips. While I don’t believe any government of any stripe should be implementing a bill reducing the freedom of Canadians to think and express themselves how they wish.

I am not being extreme when I see the results this bill will cause. This bill will be used to further silence dissent, discussion, freedom of speech in the name of keeping everyone safe. This government has shown it is willing (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: The Pony Express Government

CSE has undertaken a domestic spy operation that is illegal in Canada, because it’s spying on communication of Canadian citizens. CSE is supposed to only spy on foreigners, and the Commissioner overseeing the signals intelligence agency is supposed to put a stop to any overstepping of that mandate. Something clearly has gone awry in a grave way.

PONY EXPRESS should not exist in Canada nor should every (paper) letter mailed by Canadians be photographed, as the US is doing. Claiming the mandate CSE has to protect government computers overrides its restriction on conducting a mass surveillance operation of Canadians’ (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: C-51 Being Pushed by “Fascist” language

A former Mountie and CSIS operative thinks Harper’s so called anti-terrorism bill is scary and unnecessary.

Mr. Lavigne, 55, left government in 1999, but follows intelligence news closely.

He spent years tracking dangerous radicals without the powers the government wants to give to CSIS.

“I find it a little convenient that in the past few years that these radicalized people are the biggest threat to ever hit us,” he said. “There are more people dying because of drunk drivers or because of gang violence.”

(-link added by me)

Mr. Lavigne said the prime minister’s advisers must tell him that (Read more…)

Toronto Lawyer | Omar Ha-Redeye, J.D. » Politics: 2015 Black History Month Recognized in Ontario Legislature

The Ontario Legislature recognized Black History Month on Feb. 24, 2015. A statement by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade is available here.

Hansard, Feb. 24, 2015 Black History Month

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Hot Room Politics

Media in Ottawa are too busy eating each other alive to focus on the main course passing authoritarian Bill C-51.

Glen McGregor takes the proposed Press Gallery changes apart.

@pdmcleod fair enough, moneybags. New territory to me. What's a more apt description?

— Jesse Brown (@JesseBrown) February 24, 2015

@laura_payton As this is being triggered now, Q is: if a PPG Member is offended at another's remarks & complains:would this be "just cause"?

— D. Matthew Millar (@dmatthewmillar) February 23, 2015

Terahertz: Humanists discuss political engagement

Last night, I attended a discussion hosted by the pan London Humanist group on what new opportunities there are for greater democratic engagement following the Scottish referendum on independence. It featured Ian Scott and Gary McLelland from the Humanist Society of Scotland (Ian is Acting Chief Executive and voted yes in the referendum, Gary is the Policy & Public Affairs Officer and campaigned for no), Andrew Copson (Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association), Will Brett (Head of Campaiggns at the Electoral Reform Society) and Alex Runswick (Chief Executive of Unloock Democracy). Anoosh Chakelin (Deputy Editor of New Statesman) stepped (Read more…)

Terahertz: #NoMoreGames… but what instead?

I passed a billboard today advertising the British Medical Association (BMA)’s new media campaign. It calls for all political parties to stop playing games with the NHS.

I’ll give them credit – it’s catchy and many people (myself included at times) think politicians too often use promises of reform to the healthcare system as a way to score cheap points. But what does #NoMoreGames actually mean?

We should want, and expect, politicians to lay out their plans for what they’d do differently if elected. It’d be one thing if the BMA were campaigning for specific pledges but instead they’re headline (Read more…)

Terahertz: Rounded democracy

Many legislative debating chambers have been designed and built in the past 50 years. Living in the UK, I’ve been able to travel to and see a number of them.

The National Assembly of Wales in Cardiff:

The Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh:

The European Parliament in Brussels (and similarly in Strasbourg):

The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva:

Besides updated technology, what each of these chambers has in common is that their seats are arranged circularly – where members face one another with only the speaker (or equivalent moderator) sitting separately.

Contrast this with the Houses of Parliament at (Read more…)

Politics Canada: REBLOG: Everything’s Harper: C-51 and the unmaking of Canada

Here is a great article on ipolitics

Dead Wild Roses: Bill Nye – He Does Think of the Children

 

Filed under: Politics Tagged: Bill Nye, Religion, Science, The Children

Dented Blue Mercedes: “A little free speech for me, and a little shut-up-and-take-it-like-a-man for you.”

There’s a bit of controversy brewing in the UK press, as a result of a letter from academics and activists (including noted LGB activist Peter Tatchell, as well as some recognized trans-exclusionary reactionaries) published in The Observer (“We cannot allow censorship and silencing of individuals“). In it they call for universities to stand against what they felt was intimidation, specifically pertaining to discussions on trans* issues and sex work.

As a freelance writer and journalist, I could normally understand the concern of what they term no-platforming (alienating speakers like Germaine Greer and Julie Bindel because of past (Read more…)