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Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Greg Keenan exposes how corporations are demanding perpetually more from municipalities while refusing to contribute their fair share of taxes to fund the services needed by any community. And Sean McElwee points out how big-money donations are translating into a warped U.S. political system: Available data reveals that donors not only have disproportionate influence over politics, but that influence is wielded largely to keep issues that would benefit the working and middle classes off of the table.

Do donors really rule the world? Recent research suggests that indeed they do. Three (Read more…)

Politics Canada: Harper’s Orwellian scare tactics

It has just come out that our civil servants have been told to provide fodder to the Harper government’s wish to make terrorism a big issue in Canada. An issue big enough that we don’t notice the horrific mishandling of our economy and tax system. Harper used the Ottawa shooting to push through bill C-51 stripping Canadians of more of their civil liberties. Even more important to the Harperites is the spread of fear, fear of terrorism. They are counting on Canadians to be more worried about terrorism than the economy.

In the true spirit of the Orwell classic 1984 (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Brendan O’Neill writes that the UK Cons are following in Stephen Harper’s footsteps by pushing the concept of thought policing. And George Monbiot rightly criticizes the gross inflation of supposed terror threats and simultaneous neglect of far more serious risks: A global survey published last week by the Pew Research Centre found that while the people of North America, Britain, Australia, Japan, France and Germany see Isis as the greatest threat they face, most of the countries surveyed in poorer parts of the world – Africa, Latin America and Asia – place (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Was the Senate report on ‘countering’ the threat of terrorism intended to incite hatred for political gain?

PHOTOS: Conservative members of the Senate of Canada answer questions about their “interim report” on countering terrorist threats to Canada. Actual Conservative Senators may not appear exactly as illustrated – but close enough, unfortunately. Below: Liberal senator Grant Mitchell of Alberta, who dissented from the report; former British MP George Galloway, banned from Canada after […]

The post Was the Senate report on ‘countering’ the threat of terrorism intended to incite hatred for political gain? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Montreal Simon: Breaking: Cons Helped Overthrow the Ukrainian Government

Lordy. And to think I didn't take Stephen Harper seriously when he claimed he was leading the fight to "liberate" Ukraine.

Who knew that he actually helped bring down a duly elected government?

For crass political purposes.

Or as others might say, was used as a hapless pawn. Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Senate Wars V: The Harper Empire Strikes Back

“But surely,” said the Senate apologist, “even if an undemocratic upper chamber is utterly useless in actually reviewing legislation, we can still pretend it has value based on its willingness to study issues on something less than a wholly partisan basis.”

Then this happened. And the Senate apologist was once again reduced to complaining that change couldn’t be done.

Bill Longstaff: Why Britain is culpable for the slaughter of its citizens

British Prime Minister David Cameron is enraged at the massacre on a beach at the Sousse resort in Tunisia last week. And well he should be: thirty of his countrymen and women were slaughtered. He has pledged a “full spectrum” response, whatever that means. But while Mr. Cameron is engaging in his full spectrum response, he should take time to look in the mirror. Britain itself must take a full

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Daniel Marans reports on Bernie Sanders’ push for international action against austerity in Greece and elsewhere. And Binoy Kampmark documents the anti-democratic and antisocial ideology on the other side of the austerity debate.

- Noah Smith writes that while there’s no discernible connection between massive pay for CEOs and actual corporate performance, there’s a strong link between who an executive knows and how much the executive can extract.

- The CP reports on UNESCO’s push to study the impact of the tar sands on Wood Buffalo National Park. And Tavia Grant breaks (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Emmanuel Saez examines the U.S.’ latest income inequality numbers and finds that the gap between the wealthy few and everybody else is still growing. The Equality Trust finds that the UK’s tax system is already conspicuously regressive even as the Cameron Cons plan to make it more so. And Tom Clark reviews Anthony Atkinson’s Inequality, featuring the observation that even returning to the distribution of the 1970s will require major (if needed) changes to the economic assumptions we’ve meekly accepted since then.

- Andrew Mitrovica comments on the Cons’ pandering (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: For black Americans, 239 years of terrorism

The United States is obsessed with terrorism these days. In a Pew Research survey, Americans ranked defending the U.S. against terrorism as the top policy priority for their federal government, ranking it even above the economy. At home, they have built a bureaucracy second only to the Pentagon for homeland security. Abroad, the U.S. stumbles about bombing and assassinating terrorists while

The Canadian Progressive: Conservatives ask Liberals to “apologize for decades of racism”

The Harper Conservatives accuse the Liberals of “decades of racism” dating back to Liberal PM Mackenzie King, who served from 1921 to 1930 and 1935 to 1948.

The post Conservatives ask Liberals to “apologize for decades of racism” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: “Kill Bill C-51″: Conservative Supporters Tell Stephen Harper

Game-changing supporters of the Conservative Party of Canada are warning Stephen Harper Bill C-51 could result in “a Liberal or NDP government”.

The post “Kill Bill C-51″: Conservative Supporters Tell Stephen Harper appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Elizabeth Warren reminds us (PDF) that previous trade agreements were packaged with the same promises of labour and environmental standards being used to sell the latest versions – and that there’s been no enforcement whatsoever of the elements of the deals which were supposed to protect the public.

- Kriston Capps discusses the unfairness of New York’s property tax system which makes it easy for the obscenely rich to avoid paying their fair share. And Jon Stone notes that even following an election in which the Conservatives won a majority, UK voters (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Distracted Thinking

I am something of a creature of routine. For example, all things being equal, my early morning ritual consists of retrieving the Toronto Star from my mailbox and reading the front section while enjoying my breakfast. It is during this reading that I often get my idea for the day’s blog post. Firing up the computer, checking email and going to my blog dashboard are my next steps, assuming no exigencies have arisen requiring my attention elsewhere.

A requisite part of these quotidian activities is a certain amount of focus and concentration, perhaps one of the reasons I don’t scan (Read more…)

Blevkog: Omar Khadr is a rescued child soldier and should be treated as such

The release of Omar Khadr, on strict conditions, has reignited the debate over his capture and imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay. The Conservative Party, ever in campaign mode, is always looking for a political issue to use to charge up their base, and his release, which they opposed and continue to appeal, is their cause du […]

Politics and its Discontents: Meanwhile, Back At Campaign Central

Hate campaign, that is. True to form, the Harper regime wasted no time in denouncing the decision to release Omar Khadr on bail pending his appeal. And in addition to playing to their rabid base, they took the opportunity to excoriate both Trudeau and Mulcair with some verbal prestidigitation:

Meanwhile, Thomas Walkom offers a good analysis of the government’s strategy: Conservative Roxanne James, [seen in the above video] the government’s designated spokesperson, said Ottawa opposes Khadr’s release because he has been convicted of “heinous crimes.”

What she should have said is that, in the lead-up to this fall’s election, (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Bill C-51 undermines Canada’s business climate and global reputation

Canadian business leaders and tech entrepreneurs are convinced that Stephen Harper’s Bill C-51 undermines Canada’s business climate and global reputation.

The post Bill C-51 undermines Canada’s business climate and global reputation appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Elizabeth May Rejects Harper’s Cosmetic Bill C-51 Amendments

Harper’s Bill C-51 remains “dangerous and undemocratic” and “deeply unconstitutional” despite the Conservatives’ proposed amendments, says MP Elizabeth May.

The post Elizabeth May Rejects Harper’s Cosmetic Bill C-51 Amendments appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics and its Discontents: Some Inspiration From A Clear-Thinking Citizen

That’s what I derive from Donald Crump’s Star letter. It is a shame more of our fellow citizens are not possessed of such critical faculties:

Increasing risk of terror in Canada When a government starts making decisions based primarily on getting re-elected, with little regard for what is best for the country, we should all take notice. In Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s view, the fact that a majority of voters support his “war on terrorism” is reason enough for his government to increase the risk that terror will come to our shores. I think we have learned since 9/11 that (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Attention, Shoppers: Don’t Let The Terrorists Win!

An important message to all Canadians from Stephen Harper:

Recommend this Post

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Manufactured Terror: Bill C51

Stephen Harper wants you to be afraid. VERY afraid. If you’re frightened, you likely won’t question his and his party’s destruction of the country, the decaying economy, job losses, homelessness, the ignored murder of aboriginal women, the muffled and cowed bureaucracy, hobbling the CBC, undermining Canadian science and scientists, and our waning credibility on the […]

The Canadian Progressive: Tens of thousands expected to protest Harper’s Bill C-51 today

As many as 83,000 people are expected to take to the streets of Canada today to protest Bill C-51, Stephen Harper’s proposed “secret police” legislation.

The post Tens of thousands expected to protest Harper’s Bill C-51 today appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, condensing this post on the component parts of the Cons’ terror bill.

For further reading…- Michael Geist writes that C-51 represents the evisceration of privacy in Canada. – Jim Bronskill reports on Amnesty International’s opposition to C-51 as a means of targeting activists. And Alyssa Stryker and Carmen Cheung highlight six elements protesters will want to understand about the bill. – Finally, Craig Forcese and Kent Roach discuss the international implications of C-51, including the express authorization for CSIS to operate outside the law of foreign countries. And Forcese also points out exactly what the term “lawful” (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: How Did We Become a Land of Cowards?

Bill C-51 speaks to the cowardice that has taken hold of Canadian society at the instance of the fear-mongering federal government.  Conservatives and Liberals and, for that matter, a solid majority of the Canadian public support it.

What, some nutjob shoots somebody and so we need to turn the thumbscrews on the already dwindling rights and freedoms of all Canadians?  We’re following in the jackboot steps of the United States.  We’re becoming a land of cowards.

American pundit Ted Rall has a column in The Japan Times that should speak to all of us.

For a country that used to (Read more…)

The Right-Wing Observer: Tory Misuse of Holocaust is Offensive

The carefully orchestrated Conservative Campaign of Confusion continued today as the Harper Tories repeatedly exploited and misused one of the world’s most baggage-laden words. The Tory Word of the Day on March 3, 2015 was “HOLOCAUST”. No fewer than two Tory ministers today grievously used this word in an attempt to increase public acceptance of Bill C-51, the “Anti-terrorism Act”, in the face of mounting concerns and disagreement about the spectre of a state-sponsored secret police and creeping violations against Canadians’ Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Some would say it is necessary to promote fear of one thing in order to combat the fear (Read more…)