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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:

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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…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Michal Rozworski reminds us that while a shift toward precarious work may represent an unwanted change from the few decades where labour prospered along with business, it’s all too familiar from a historical perspective: (P)recarity is what it means to have nothing to sell but your labour power, to use Marx’s turn of phrase. Taken in this sense, precarity is wide-spread: today, the bottom 40% of Canadians today own a measly 2% of national wealth and the bottom 60% own just over 10%. The fact of owning relative peanuts gives precarity an (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Zehaf-Bibeau had a point

At the risk of being investigated by the 130 agents RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson has working on the Michael Zehaf-Bibeau case, I must say I think the man made a valid point.

After watching his now famous video, or at least the portion big brother has allowed us to see, I cannot dismiss all the would-be jihadist’s rhetoric. His message was, to put it simply, if you kill us, we will kill you.

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Alan Rusbridger explains the Guardian’s much-appreciated effort to provide both space and analysis of the need to fight climate change. And Naomi Klein makes the case for a Marshall plan-style response to transition the world to a sustainable society, while highlighting the need for a public push to make that happen.

- Meanwhile, Jim Stanford discusses the fallout from the Cons’ single-minded obsession with oil development. And Thomas Walkom calls out their blatant attempt to avoid discusses the economy now that they’ve left it sputtering.

- On that front, Edward Keenan writes that (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On dumbed-down messages

Shorter Tom Lukiwski: When it comes to terror laws, we Conservatives have no time for “legal jargon” like rights, life, liberty or justice. In fact, we’d like you to focus solely on one word.

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Tavia Grant, Bill Curry and David Kennedy discuss CIBC’s analysis showing that Canadian job quality has falled to its lowest level recorded in the past 25 years: Several reports have concluded that the country’s job market is not as strong as it looks and now a study from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce paints an even worse picture. According to the bank’s analysis, job quality has fallen to its lowest level in more than two decades. A CIBC index that measures 25 years worth of data on part-time versus full-time work, paid versus (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: Let’s not sacrifice freedom out of fear

Harper government can’t silence activists by labeling them “extremists”, creating police-state legislation such as Bill C-51, argues renowned scientist David Suzuki.

The post David Suzuki: Let’s not sacrifice freedom out of fear appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Edward Keenan is the latest to point out that any reasonable political decision-making process needs to include an adult conversation about taxes and why we need them: This week, when asked about the prospect of raising taxes beyond the rate of inflation in coming years, John Tory called the idea “an admission of failure.”

This is distressing to hear. Consider the context: Tory’s current budget turns out to require a lot of dipsy-doodling that edges the city perilously close to its debt ceiling while hiking TTC fares and garbage fees. Meanwhile the (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Soul mates and the politics of fear

Fabricating a threat to the nation in order to instill fear in the population may be demagoguery, but it is also a highly effective way for leaders to rally the people behind them. Frightened citizens turn conservative and cling to what they know, i.e. the incumbent government, rather than risk change. Politicians understand this very well and, in dictatorships and democracies alike, have been

The Canadian Progressive: Trudeau To Support Harper’ Imminent Iraq War Extension

Liberal leader open to supporting Stephen Harper’s imminent extension of Canada’s combat mission against Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq.

The post Trudeau To Support Harper’ Imminent Iraq War Extension appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Harper’s Police State Anti-terrorism Bill C-51 “Dangerous”: 100+ Academics

More than 100 academics sign letter telling Canadian MPs that Harper’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation, Bill C-51, would allow CSIS to violate Canadians’ privacy rights.

The post Harper’s Police State Anti-terrorism Bill C-51 “Dangerous”: 100+ Academics appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Bill Longstaff: Parsing Bill C-51— the academics’ letter

The first criticism of Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act 2015, is the fact it is entirely unnecessary. Our criminal law is already capable of dealing with terrorist activities. More to the point, terrorism poses no significant threat to Canadians and therefore no further infringements on Canadians’ civil liberties are warranted.

The facts are clear. In 2014 two Canadians were killed in

Paul S. Graham: Stop Bill C-51 #StopHarper

Introduced into Parliament on Jan. 30, 2015, Bill C-51 is an omnibus bill that will undermine constitutionally protected rights and freedoms of Canadians in the guise of combating terrorism. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s bombastic, saber-rattling YouTube video, published 2 days before the bill was tabled, set the tone. Essentially, Canada is under attack and the government will do whatever it takes to protect Canadians.

Critics of C-51 argue that it will criminalize speech, make it easier to arrest people who police think might commit an offence, share citizen’s private information between government departments without oversight, and allow the Canadian (Read more…)