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Writings of J. Todd Ring: ISIS and Terrorism – A Reality Check

“The responsibility of intellectuals is to speak the truth and expose lies.” – Noam Chomsky “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell According to a February 2015 Gallup poll, Americans consider the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — abbreviated as ISIS or ISIL — and […]

The Canadian Progressive: Margaret Atwood leads artists’ rebellion against Harper’s Bill C-51

Celebrated author Margaret Atwood is leading a group of 200 notable Canadian writers and artists demanding an immediate repeal of Bill C-51, Stephen Harper’s “secret police” legislation. C­51, the artists argue, “directly attacks the creative arts and free expression in this country.”

The post Margaret Atwood leads artists’ rebellion against Harper’s Bill C-51 appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: On final choices

Following up on this post and some additional discussion, let’s take a look at the question of what options would be available to Stephen Harper if he decided he wanted to escape a drubbing at the polls by cancelling the federal election. And fortunately, the answer looks to be “not much”.

The Canada Elections Act does allows for a writ to be withdrawn, but only with some important limitations (emphasis added): 59. (1) The Governor in Council may order the withdrawal of a writ for any electoral district for which the Chief Electoral Officer certifies that by reason of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- John Thornhill talks to Mariana Mazzucato about the importance of public investment in fostering economic growth – along with the need for the public to benefit as a result: As Mazzucato explains it, the traditional way of framing the debate about wealth creation is to picture the private sector as a magnificent lion caged by the public sector. Remove the bars, and the lion roams and roars. In fact, she argues, private sector companies are rarely lions; far more often they are kittens. Managers tend to be more concerned with cutting costs, (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: About Those Diversions, Mr. Harper

H/t Raeside Cartoons

Meanwhile, always perspicacious Toronto Star readers will have none of it. Here is but a small sampling of their sentiments on Mr. Harper’s diversionary tactics: Re: Harper vows to end ‘terror tourism,’ Aug. 10

Travel restrictions to terrorist locations shouldn’t be election promises. When warranted I expect any government to take responsible precautions, including restricting travel to certain areas, more for the safety of the travelers than as a way to stop potential radicals.

It’s hardly worthy of be‎ing touted as a campaign plank, but I suppose the Conservatives have little else to run on. More and (Read more…)

Politics Canada: Stephen Harper’s terrorism plan like closing the barn door after the horses are gone, then spying on all the farmers

Stephen Harper was spreading more terrorist fears on the campaign trail today as he announced some stupid travel ban which would mean approximately zero to someone wishing to join ISIS. Seriously the guy should get a royalty cheque from ISIS for spreading their message for them. No one spreads more terrorist fear in Canada then the prime minister.

He criticized the NDP and Liberals terrorism policy as ‘Dropping aid on dead people’.

Well Stephen Harper’s anti-terrorism bill is a lot like closing the barn door after the horses have left as it does nothing to deal with the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: In Which Stephen Harper Tries To Change The Channel

One suspects it won’t work.

Recommend this Post

The Canadian Progressive: The lies Harper told during 2015 election call, first leaders’ debate

Stephen Harper told a lot of lies during his launch of the 2015 federal election campaign, and during the first national leaders debate, hosted by Maclean’s Magazine.

The post The lies Harper told during 2015 election call, first leaders’ debate appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: On fear merchants

Shorter Stephen Harper: It’s not paranoid fearmongering if somebody’s really out to get you. So here’s to four more years of a government who’s really out to get you.

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…)