Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Autonomy For All: The "SmartTrack" Political Context

SmartTrack: Politician designed transit works surprisingly well…for politicians

To recap: John Tory has centred his Mayoral campaign on a promise to build a heavy surface rail (he calls “surface subway”) electrified line 53KM long that mostly uses 2 existing GO-Transit non-electrified lines and builds 12KM of new track along Eglinton west into Mississauga terminating just south of Pearson aiport.  He claims to need $8 billion to build it, and expects the City, Province and Federal governments to each pick up one-third ($2.67B each).

Image by Tory parody account @JohnToryT0 (zero)

There are several technical (some, like capacity (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: Alright, this is my last anti-Thatcher post of the night. Whew,…

Alright, this is my last anti-Thatcher post of the night. Whew, there sure are a lot of anti-Thatcher songs and videos out there, and I have only posted a fraction of them.

This song isn’t subtle at all. It gets straight to the point. It’s “Maggie” by the Edinburgh, Scotland punk band The Exploited (lyrics included).

Warning: If you don’t like swear words, particularly the “C” word, don’t click on the video.

The Ranting Canadian: This song against the recently deceased former British prime…

This song against the recently deceased former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher is “Oxford Lady” by the Manchester-based post-punk/New Wave band The Brigade. Lyrically, it’s a bit more subtle than most of the anti-Thatcher songs I posted, but that just means you have to listen a bit more closely.

As a bonus, here’s a link to another anti-Thatcher song by The Brigade, which they made in support of the British miners’ strike in the 1980s. The song title is “The Movement”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qNn9j6Ob4Zc

The Ranting Canadian: This anti-Thatcher song is “We Rule OK” by the…

This anti-Thatcher song is “We Rule OK” by the working-class Oi! band The Last Resort. Some right-wingers try to claim this band as one of their own, but that is not accurate. The Last Resort are patriotic and pro-working class, not Conservatives or fascists. Here are the lyrics.

We Rule OK

The government policies are out of handThey ain’t got a clue how to run this landMargaret Thatcher the stupid old bitchTakes from the poor and gives to the rich

She thinks we can’t see her planTo kill the spirit of the working class manMake (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: http://www.reverbnation.com/attilathestockbroker/song/10941659-maggots-1-maggie-0-band-version

http://www.reverbnation.com/attilathestockbroker/song/10941659-maggots-1-maggie-0-band-version:

With this anti-Thatcher song, I was unable to find a video that played properly on my computer. I couldn’t resist posting a link to the audio file, because it’s my favourite song about Margaret Thatcher. After you click on the link, you’ll have to press “play” at the bottom of the screen.

“Maggots 1 – Maggie Nil” is by the talented, smart, funny and vastly underrated folk/punk musician and poet, Attila the Stockbroker. Look him up if you’ve never heard of him. He has had songs on some punk rock and Oi! compilations, and has released

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: http://www.reverbnation.com/attilathestockbroker/song/10941659-maggots-1-maggie-0-band-version

The Ranting Canadian: In grade 9 or 10 French class, we had an assignment to write a…

In grade 9 or 10 French class, we had an assignment to write a page of text in French and accompany it with some graphics. I chose to write about the French Revolution, and for the picture, I cut out magazine photos of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Brian Mulroney and used them to represent the French aristocrats getting their heads cut off by guillotines. I learned much later that my teacher reported this to the vice-principal, concerned that I was disturbed and violent. She was way off base, and when the vice-principal contacted my parents, they told him so.

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: In grade 9 or 10 French class, we had an assignment to write a…

The Ranting Canadian: What a wonderful day! Maggie Fucking Thatcher is finally dead,…

What a wonderful day! Maggie Fucking Thatcher is finally dead, dead dead! I heard the news while getting ready for work this morning, and I was in a good mood all day!

I have bookmarked a bunch of anti-Thatcher videos just for this occasion. I will start off with the classic Elvis Costello song “Tramp the Dirt Down”. It’s a beautiful song about an ugly human being. It includes the brilliant lines:

Well I hope I don’t die too soon I pray the lord my soul to save Oh I’ll be a good boy, I’m trying so hard to behave (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: Here are some unintentionally hilarious excerpts from an old interview with Jim Flaherty,…

Here are some unintentionally hilarious excerpts from an old interview with Jim Flaherty, Canada’s worst finance minister. The article was published by the pro-Conservative (and plagiarism-tolerant) Globe and Mail.

It was the height of Trudeaumania, and the Flaherty clan was right in the middle of it. But over the following decade, as the hockey-mad undergrad transformed into a Bay Street lawyer, he became disenchanted with Pierre Trudeau. “I thought it was really quite irresponsible, these deficits and debt and the inflation that followed,” he says.

So, like his boss Stephen Harper, Flaherty was a Liberal before becoming an anti-Canadian extremist.

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Here are some unintentionally hilarious excerpts from an old interview with Jim Flaherty,…

The Ranting Canadian: Jim Flaherty, the most incompetent finance minister in Canadian…

Jim Flaherty, the most incompetent finance minister in Canadian history, released his pathetic 2013 budget on March 21 and almost immediately snuck off to Hong Kong, en route to Thailand. He only stopped in Vancouver along the way – to give a scripted speech to an exclusive audience of Conservative-friendly corporate insiders. He won’t be back in parliament until at least the middle of April.

Very suspicious.

Flaherty understood that his piece-of-crap budget of cooked-up dollar figures and phony economic projections was indefensible, so he did what any coward would do: run away. That was no surprise. What is

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Jim Flaherty, the most incompetent finance minister in Canadian…

The Ranting Canadian: Inspired by news stories of the last week or so: What do the…

Inspired by news stories of the last week or so:

What do the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the Vatican, the Canadian senate, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Conservative Party of Canada have in common?

They are antiquated, dysfunctional, corrupt, racist, sexist, homophobic, elitist, perverted, deceitful, abusive, secretive, right-wing, hierarchical, criminal-like organizations that are mostly controlled by bigoted, old, rich, white, authoritarian men, yet are mostly funded by lowly, non-wealthy working people – many, or most, of whom naively hold faith that those institutions are designed to serve the general public.

Those state-sanctioned gangs have directly and

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Inspired by news stories of the last week or so:
What do the…

The Ranting Canadian: A message to grassroots supporters of the Harper Conservatives…

A message to grassroots supporters of the Harper Conservatives (and those who are on the fence):

When the Harper Cons lie, cheat, steal and commit fraud, they are doing it to you too. When they keep secrets, they are hiding important information from you too. When they waste money and expand the national debt, it is your money and debt too. When they give tax breaks and subsidies to profitable corporations and rich individuals, it is at your expense. When they ruin Canada’s reputation abroad, they are damaging your reputation too. When they abuse procedures in order to avoid accountability, . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: A message to grassroots supporters of the Harper Conservatives…

The Ranting Canadian: Here’s some 2009 footage of Canadian Conservative Senator…

Here’s some 2009 footage of Canadian Conservative Senator Mike Duffy on CBC Newsworld’s Power & Politics. The title given to the Youtube video is 100% accurate: “a Drunken Mike Duffy attacks the Canadian Press, elected Members of Parliament”.

I remember seeing it the first time it aired. Duffy was attempting to justify massive overspending by thieving, gluttonous, patronage-appointed senators, including himself. I don’t recall the Harper Conservatives ever doing anything to crack down on this flagrant misuse of taxpayer dollars. On the contrary, the problem seems to have gotten worse.

Duffy is such a crooked, self-entitled, lying piece of crap!

The Ranting Canadian: I don’t know of any political leaders in the…

I don’t know of any political leaders in the English-speaking world who have had more protest songs written about them than Margaret Thatcher, but that record may eventually go to Canada’s Stephen Harper by the time his reign of errors is over.

Harper and Thatcher are cut from the same political cloth, but Harper is sneakier and more evasive than Thatcher. He has had the extra benefit of learning from Thatcher’s public relations mistakes and of being coached by United States Republican Party dirty tricks experts.

Here is a video of a fairly new anti-Harper song, “Idle No More: Canadian

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: I don’t know of any political leaders in the…

The Ranting Canadian: Here’s another anti-Margaret Thatcher song with almost the…

Here’s another anti-Margaret Thatcher song with almost the same title as the other one I posted. “The Day that Thatcher Dies” by Hefner has a glam rock/Elton John/Britpop feel to it. More anti-Thatcher videos to come later when the old bag finally shuffles off her mortal coil.

Here are the lyrics:

We will laugh the day that Thatcher dies, Even though we know it’s not right, We will dance and sing all night.

I was blind in 1979, by ‘82 I had clues, By 1986 I was mad as hell.

The teachers at school, they took us for fools, They

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Here’s another anti-Margaret Thatcher song with almost the…

The Ranting Canadian: Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister, close personal…

Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister, close personal friend of murderous dictator Augusto Pinochet, and idol of capitalist extremists everywhere, was in hospital just before Christmas to have a growth removed from her bladder. Unfortunately her spokeswoman said she is doing “absolutely fine”, despite experiencing serious health problems in recent years.

Meanwhile, many of her fellow citizens — and citizens of other countries who have adopted her vicious agenda of slashing and privatizing healthcare — can’t access the treatments they need in an uncomplicated and timely manner.

Give it up, evil Baroness Thatcher. You’re almost 88 years old, you’re

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister, close personal…

calgaryliberal.com: Liberals still in hairs breadth from Tories in Calgary-Centre — MoE has them in statistical heat

New Globe and Mail Poll Liberal Harvey Locke is within the margin of error of Tory Joan Crockatt. It’s close. Just as close as last week’s poll. Harvey Locke, who has been consistently talking about having progressive values — of bein… . . . → Read More: calgaryliberal.com: Liberals still in hairs breadth from Tories in Calgary-Centre — MoE has them in statistical heat

calgaryliberal.com: Libs are 2% behind the Tory in Calgary-Centre. Huh.

… of 376 randomly selected residents puts Ms. Crockatt in first place – but pegs her support at just 32 per cent, down from 48 per cent in a similar poll held two weeks earlier. Liberal candidate Harvey Locke had the backing of 30 per cent of t… . . . → Read More: calgaryliberal.com: Libs are 2% behind the Tory in Calgary-Centre. Huh.

calgaryliberal.com: Calgary-Centre By-Election: Forum Poll has Tory at 48%, Harvey Locke (L) at 28%, Greens and NDP at 8%-11%

Forum Research released a poll of the Calgary-Centre byelection to gauge the support of each candidate in the riding. Conservative candidate Joan Crockatt sits at almost half of the support of the riding, with Harvey Locke some 20 points behind her at 28%. Since the previous poll (in August) the Harvey Locke team has increased [...]

Women in politics: the “squeeze” factor

As any student of Canadian politics knows, Ellen Fairclough was Canada’s first female cabinet minister, appointed by Diefenbaker in 1957 and serving until her defeat as MP for Hamilton West in 1963. I have mixed feelings about Fairclough’s politics: she did good work on the immigration file, but she was a Tory, of course, and reportedly had a thing against gays, if you buy the fictionalization from Robertson Davies’ What’s Bred in the Bone. But I digress.

Although far from being, say, a Judy LaMarsh, Fairclough did mention after her stint in government that the male ministers treated her, well,

. . . → Read More: Women in politics: the “squeeze” factor

CalgaryLiberal: No Debate: FawcettFails To Attend Forum

A question that burned through my mind on Tuesday during the Calgary-Klein forum was “How did this guy ever get elected?” How did this guy get in? Fawcett wasn’t prepared. He fumbled. He didn’t have answers, didn’t have positions, and shared very little. This has to end. This Tory didn’t stand for anything. And he opted [...]

wRanter.com: Why Thomas Mulcair gets it when it comes to Israel

Not surprisingly, Thomas Mulcair won the NDP leadership last month, replacing Saint Jack Layton as the man social democrats hope can rally left-of-centre voters to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Here’s hoping he’s successful, but as I argued in an earlier post, it seems unlikely that he will be, because the left is as divided [...]