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Bill Longstaff: Why are Americans so frightened?

If you were asked what the American people’s top policy priority was, what would you answer? The economy perhaps? Immigration? Global warming? You would be wrong. According to the Pew Research Center, Americans’ top policy concern is terrorism, with 76 per cent ranking it as a top priority, just edging out the economy.

Why, one wonders, are they so afraid of terrorists when the threat is so

Bill Longstaff: The House of Saud—they may be terrorists, but they’re our terrorists

During the Cold War, the West made allies out of some brutal dictatorial regimes. A challenge on this often met with the cynical answer, “they may be bastards, but they’re our bastards.” The Cold War is over, but the sentiment and the policy that generated it live on.

Western countries continue to ally themselves with brutal dictatorships, perhaps the first among them being Saudi Arabia. A

Trashy's World: Great show of strength and unity by Parisians, but….

… the participation in it by some of the world leaders takes the shine a way somewhat. If indeed the march was also in defence of freedom of speech. For example: – Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who had several journalists jailed for insulting him in 2013. – Saudi ambassador to France. The Saudis publicly flogged […]

Bill Longstaff: Harper’s histrionics

Terrorist attacks are theatre. And what theatre they have been presenting lately. The 9/11 spectacle of planes flying into tall buildings was the most spectacular event ever seen on television. The shooting spree by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau on Parliament Hill put Canada in the global spotlight for days, and the recent mass murder in Paris has mesmerized the world. It’s hard to beat a terrorist

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice – Charlie Hebdo

Oh, those wacky religious Muslim terrorists are at it again going all murder happy on people who dare to make fun of their religion.

This event is completely ludicrous and, in 2015, should not be happening, some reasons off the top of my head:

1. Mohammad, Jebus, Krishna, Sif – pick your imaginary friend – they all don’t fucking exist.

2. If they did exist wouldn’t there be some godly smiting going on, like all the time? Being immortal and all powerful and all that shite, you would think that they could take care of business without (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: About That Islamic Terrorism, Who Are We Kidding?

Well those damned Muslims have us in hysterics now.  Rupert Murdoch says this is on all Muslims.  Bill Maher says ditto.

But wait.  There are two strains of Muslims – Sunni and Shia.  Our Muslims of choice, those we consider our allies, are Sunni – Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, that bunch. The Muslims we normally despise and distrust are those other guys, the Shiites.

So, let’s step back and look at all this Muslim terrorism that has us in such a state. Let’s start with Osama bin Laden.  Sunni.  Al Qaeda, Sunni.  ISIS, Sunni.  Those Muslims Obama keeps (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: About That Fear-Mongering, Mr. Harper

Thanks to Inse for this. He writes:

Maybe to try and counteract the obviously upcoming increase in security measures and fear mongering by the usual suspects (and don’t forget to donate to the party funds!)

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PostArctica: Je Suis Charlie

I had never heard of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo prior to the assault on it’s staff. From what I have come to understand it produces cartoons that normally would be considered quite offensive to anyone associated with whatever it is currently satirizing. That’s what satirists do, they mock people, places and institutions that others may hold in high regard. Someone is being very offended by satire every time it happens. Others may laugh. A trillion offensive jokes are told by humans every day outside of any public context. Few of them, if any, are ever gravely held accountable (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Free Speech Isn’t Always Free

Twelve dead, as many again wounded, after a terror attack on the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo.  Paris police have launched a manhunt for the gunmen who escaped after attacking the magazine’s offices.

Nobody has come right out and said Muslim terrorists were behind the attack but Charlie Hebdo has been intensely needling Islam for some time.

Moments before Charlie Hebdo’s offices were attacked, the magazine’s Twitter handle published a cartoon wishing a happy new year “and particularly good health” to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State (Isis).

Its cover this week features Michel Houellebecq’s provocative (Read more…)

drive-by planet: RCMP backtracking on release of video by Ottawa shooter Zehaf-Bibeau reeks of political influence

After we were told the video made by Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau would be made available to the public, the RCMP has changed its mind, or had it changed for them. RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson wasn’t exactly clear on the specifics. He said there may be a release of “some aspects of a transcript of the video”… whatever that means.

Given the terrorist narrative favored by the government and also by the police, how can the public be sure that ‘aspects of the transcript’ aren’t cherry picked to reenforce the preferred narrative. Surely the honest and transparent thing to do (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Ottawa puppet masters

Cowichan Conversations: French Parliament Votes to Recognize Palestinian State

France’s Socialist-led parliament has passed a symbolic vote to recognize Palestinian statehood, despite staunch objections from Israel. MPs in Britain and Spain have already passed similar motions.

The proposal was passed with 339 votes in favor and 151 against, meaning that it was supported by more than two-thirds of French lawmakers.

Israel immediately responded, saying that the motion would “harm the peace process,” AFP reported.

Read the Full Report from RN News

Politics and its Discontents: I Feel Better Already

….knowing that Mr. Harper’s fight against ISIS hasn’t distracted him from an even greater threat to all that is holy and good:

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The Cracked Crystal Ball II: So, Just Who Is The Terrorist Here?

In 2014 in Canada, we have had several incidents involving people attacking various institutions and symbols of government. Consider the following list: January:  “GG”  Plans an attack on a Veteran’s Affairs office in Calgary June:  Justin Bourque shoots 3 RCMP Officers in New Brunswick October:  Martin Rouleau hits and kills a member of the Canadian Armed Forces October:  Zehaf-Bebeau shoots an unarmed military guard at the War Memorial in Ottawa The two in October has been deemed “terrorist actions”, the first two have never been called that. Who Gun Explosives Target GG Yes Yes Veteran’s Affairs (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Susan Bibeau: Ottawa shooter’s mother speaks

Susan Bibeau, the mother of Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, says her son was not a terrorist but “felt cornered” and “acted in despair.”

The post Susan Bibeau: Ottawa shooter’s mother speaks appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Bill Longstaff: MacKay makes the right noises

With all the feverish reaction from politicians and a good part of the media to the two recent “terrorist” incidents, it is encouraging to hear Justice Minister Peter McKay say some of the right things, specifically that the law already has the tools it needs to deal with these kind of crimes. No need for muscling up the cops. “There are already some pretty robust measures that we can use [that

Bill Longstaff: About those Canadian values

The shooting spree by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau on Parliament Hill that resulted in the death of soldier Nathan Cirillo has resulted in a rush of rhetoric about a threat to Canadian values. As I commented in a previous post, Zehaf-Bibeau’s rampage was no such thing. The idea that an irrational act of violence by a mentally-unbalanced crack addict is some kind of threat to our values is ludicrous. As

Politics and its Discontents: As a Canadian, You Can’t help But Feel Proud Here

Let’s hope this kind of integrity and decency is enough to combat the fears that the Harper regime is trying to stoke after last week’s tragic events.

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drive-by planet: ‘Terrorism threat’ hyped to fuel Harper government’s reactionary right-wing agenda

Following the Ottawa shooting both the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star ran headlines that signaled the nation was under assault. The Globe went with the single word “Attacked” superimposed on a silhouette of parliament, with a solitary red-and-white Canadian flag fluttering against the background gloom. The Star went with “Under Siege” with the sub-heading “Terror grips Ottawa and the nation.”

The message of ‘nation-under-threat’ contained in these headlines and images was also apparent in the rhetoric of the Harper government that framed the Ottawa shooting incident as a terrorist attack… an attack on the very heart of (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Seizing the day: Harper style

Politics and its Discontents: Tragedy Must Bring Out The Best In All Of Us

That is the sentiment expressed by Craig Wellington of Brampton in this fine lead letter from this morning’s Star:

Let’s tone down the hate rhetoric. A tragedy occurred Wednesday and a good man, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo lost his life. Let us use that as a catalyst to illuminate the best, not the worst of us.

Much of the U.S. media and political pundits have shamelessly exploited this tragedy to use as a launchpad for a stream of bigoted, vicious, rhetoric based on innuendo to feed an ongoing narrative of hate. Their apparent delight at this tragedy is disturbing.

(Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Will Canada have a snap election over new anti-terrorist laws and ISIS?

Big Brother is watching …

There is a clear fault line between the two opposition parties, and PM Stephen Harper’s policies with regard to how to combat ISIS. 

The Conservatives favour actual fighting (planes dropping bombs etc.), while the opposition parties are against this. 

The NDP is further from the government’s position, while the Liberal Party would have Canadian armed forces join the anti-ISIS coalition led by the US and help its efforts (including transporting goods for the coalition), but short of Canadian planes dropping bombs on ISIS targets. Now another fault line has appeared: the Conservatives want (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Will Canada have a snap election over new anti-terrorist laws and ISIS?

The Canadian Progressive: Ottawa Shootings: CNN fear-mongering an insult to Canadians

Reporting on Wednesday’s Ottawa shootings, CNN and other global media outlets resorted to needless sensationalism, propagandist fear-mongering and self-serving interpretations of terrorism.

The post Ottawa Shootings: CNN fear-mongering an insult to Canadians appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: No. Just No.

As I had expected, the first steps in the Harper Government’s overreaching reaction to this week’s events in Ottawa are starting to surface.  

Introducing Harper’s Thought Police:

Sources suggest the government is likely to bring in new hate speech legislation that would make it illegal to claim terrorist acts are justified online. 

The Prime Minister told the House of Commons on Thursday that Canada’s law and policing powers need to be strengthened in the areas of surveillance, detention and arrest. He said work is already under way to provide law enforcement agencies with “additional tools” and that (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: And Thus It Begins

One of the misgivings I expressed in yesterday’s post seems to be a little closer to reality today.

The National Post headline reads:

Conservatives mulling legislation making it illegal to condone terrorist acts online.

Says John Ivison, The Conservatives are understood to be considering new legislation that would make it an offence to condone terrorist acts online.

There is frustration in government, and among law enforcement agencies, that the authorities can’t detain or arrest people who express sympathy for atrocities committed overseas and who may pose a threat to public safety, one Conservative MP said. “Do we need new offences? (Read more…)